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Change is the only constant in life, this quote is more relatable than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state of mind, daily route, work-life, and social habits have been remodeled. This change is taking … Read More
Change is the only constant in life, this quote is more relatable than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state of mind, daily route, work-life, and social habits have been remodeled. This change is taking place globally.
The carefree lifestyle that involved leaving the house whenever you felt like no longer applies. Before the pandemic, it was a privilege to get the weekend off and watch TV provided by my Cox Essential package. Now, all I want to do is go out, live a normal life, and meet my friends with the freedom I took for granted.
Over the last months, you all have been feeling aimless, trapped, disconnected, purposeless, and depressed. Society collectively is experiencing emotional and mental distress because we must isolate ourselves and limit social interaction.
Research indicates that social isolation and loneliness activate HPA and the stress response. It is the fight or flight response that the body automatically initiates to defend itself. In moments of perceived danger, our body and brain are charged with hormones and chemical reactions that are useful in combating threat and danger. However, when this system is activated chronically (as a result of social isolation) it can harmful not helpful.
The global pandemic has hit every one of us hard. Many people have filed for unemployment. Those who are employed as essential workers are facing health risks. On the contrary, those who have been impacted by coronavirus are either recovering or experiencing loss. Social distancing comes at a price. Fear, anxiety, and depression are side effects. That’s why every other person is feeling exhausted, immobile, stuck, as well as unmotivated.
We had this invisible advantage from social interaction, which everyone is dearly missing right now. Having a meaningful connection with others does a world of good than we could ever imagine. These social experiences stimulate the production of Oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress. The fewer healthy interactions we have, the lesser these hormones are produced. Depression is not the only consequence of isolation. As mental health suffers, we become more susceptible to social anxiety.
If these overwhelming emotions are not managed, it could significantly damage our mental and physical health. It’s important to recognize the signs presented by your body. Stress and hormonal changes can be felt in many ways including tightness in the throat, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and heavy feeling in the chest.
To reduce these symptoms here is what you can do:
The simplest trick to reduce stress is to meditate. You can also do yoga. Breathe in and on. Your nervous system will automatically calm down. It’s recommended to meditate regularly to make your body learn how to relax on its own.
Lay down and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Inhale and inflate like a balloon. Your hands will move as your body inflates. Then, exhale and relax. Repeat this 10 times. It’s very effective when you are feeling anxious or nervous.
You will feel a lot better by socializing. Therefore, look for an opportunity to make an authentic connection. Use FaceTime to connect with your family. Tell them how you are doing and don’t forget to ask them how they are doing as well.
Express empathy, care, and compassion. If you have a neighbor who is a front-line responder, make a meal for them. Send the flowers to show gratitude. Those guys need encouragement too.
Search for families who are not doing so well financially. If your pocket allows, help them. These small gestures of care and compassion will lift spirits. You will feel satisfied as well.
Let’s be real, the tips mentioned above may not be enough to make you feel better. Like mentioned, look for signs given by your body. Don’t hesitate in seeking professional help. Many therapists are now offering sessions online as well. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, before you hit rock bottom, reach out to a professional.
Some of us can’t afford a therapist right now. No worries, the Internet is available to support. Recently, I saw a post of a person expressing his feelings on Twitter. Many people reached out to him with kind words and support. This kind gesture really helped him out. You could do the same. Talk your heart out!
If you are feeling off because of increased social isolation, be proactive. Use the resources available to make yourself come out of the dark place. Call your friends, family, or co-workers. One of my friends called Cox customer service number just to seek a human connection because she was all alone and feeling anxious. It is so unfortunate that today many people don’t have anyone to talk to. No one can survive in isolation. We all need the support sometimes in the form of words of empathy now and then.