Seven Ways to Cope with Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: VGFS
Sunday, May 10, 2020

For most of us, COVID-19 upended our routines and demanded that we quickly adapt to a “new normal”. Social distancing is a vital part of the strategy to deter the spread of the disease but it can exacerbate feelings of loneliness.

So what is the best way to get through this period of isolation? There are actually a number of strategies that can effectively boost mood, outlook and overall well-being. Here are seven simple steps you can take to alleviate feelings of loneliness during this public health crisis.

1.     Maintain connection with others.

Meeting up in person may not be possible right now, but you can still stay in touch with your friends and family. If you have the technology to do so, set up group video chats on Skype or a similar platform. Share jokes, pictures and updates on Facebook. It’s also a great time to get in touch the old-fashioned way, too, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Just hearing a friend's voice can help reduce loneliness and make us feel more connected. Strive for at least one of these interactions per day, whether it’s with a relative, pal, neighbor or colleague.

2.     Stick to a schedule.

One of the best things you can do to fight loneliness is to create a new normal by following a schedule. For example, if you are accustomed to going to the gym before work, wake up early and get an at-home workout or brisk walk in before you start your workday. Build in time for meals and short breaks as you would during a normal workday at the office. Maintaining as much normalcy as possible with your daily routine can help lift your mood and prevent boredom and distress from taking over. It can also help make the days feel productive rather than long and tedious.

3.     Seek out sources of comfort.

Finding ways to give yourself comfort even when you are feeling lonely can improve your mental health. Some "comfort measures" that you can take even if you are alone include:

  • Giving yourself a calming foot massage
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Cooking nutritious comfort food, such as soup or your favorite meal
  • Watching funny TV shows or movies
  • Lighting soothing scented candles, such as lavender or vanilla

4.     Take a walk.

Weather permitting, get outside a few minutes every day to enjoy some fresh air and sunlight. For an added mental health boost, spend time in nature. Even taking some laps around your own yard or walking through your neighborhood will help.

5.     Practice self-care.

Stress reduces the immune system's ability to fight off antigens, leaving us more susceptible to infections. Now more than ever, it is important to take care of yourself. Strive to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water. Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or ignoring public health recommendations.

6.     Learn something new.

Boredom allows the brain to manufacture negative thoughts, which can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation. Instead, occupy your mind by learning something that has always been of interest to you. Many companies, schools and organizations are offering great, free classes and tutorials. Interested in learning a new language? Check out DuoLingo’s free language classes. Or, you might unleash your inner artist by diving into the world of photography, writing, and poetry with free classes from Coursera. Whatever your interest, now is a great time to pursue it.

7.     Practice gratitude.

Taking time each day to write down the things you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can create a more positive mindset. Even in the most challenging situations, there are things for which to be thankful if you look for them.

This too shall pass. Keep in mind that this situation, despite its trials, is temporary. There is an end in sight, and how we get there depends largely on the steps we choose to take each day.

As we navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, please know that you are not alone. The caring professionals at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services are here to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Upcoming Webinar: Managing Change & Grief - April 14

We hope you will join us! Recognizing that professional counseling can be an important part of the grieving and healing process, we have invited Leslie Holley, MA, LCPC, NCC, and certified counsel...

FEMA Announces COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

For the most up-to-date information, please refer to: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.    

Life Changes Quickly. Is Your Will Putting You at Risk?

If you already have a will in place, congratulations! It’s a critical estate tool, yet only a small percentage of the population has completed this essential document. But if you think you can put...

The Senior Lifestyle: Five Tips to Help You Retain Your Independence and Your Safety

Aging comes with many important decisions, including where to live. According to a 2019 AARP survey, 75% of American seniors say they want to remain in their own homes, but that’s not always feas...

Vaughn Greene Funeral Services Celebrates 25 Years in the Baltimore Community

Firm’s Legacy of Service and Humanitarianism Remains its Hallmark Baltimore, Maryland – March 18, 2021 – Vaughn Greene Funeral Services is celebrating 25 years of distinguished care for grieving...

Keep Your Loved One’s Memory Alive with these Touching Funeral Keepsakes

Funeral favors and keepsakes are gaining popularity. Usually a small token given in remembrance of the departed, these items are available in an endless array of options and price points. They ar...

In Lieu of Flowers: Creative Ideas for Sympathy Gifts

It can be hard to find the right words to express condolences. Even if the bereaved is a close friend or family member, you may feel as though your remarks don’t convey the depth of your emotions. ...

Do You Know the Secrets to Writing the Perfect Obituary?

The obituary represents an opportunity to immortalize your loved one’s life story. When a cherished person passes away, this task usually falls to bereaved family members. You may feel overw...

Don’t Let the Pandemic Keep You from Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month honors the many significant accomplishments of Black Americans. These valuable contributions represent a key part of American history. For our nation to grow and evolve in a p...

How to Choose the Perfect Funeral Music

They say that ‘music is the soundtrack of our lives’. When it comes to funeral planning, music plays a larger role than you might imagine. It’s an important part of celebrating the life of the de...