The Art of Connection in Self-Isolation

Tips to prevent loneliness during the pandemic

Photo by Mimi Thian

1. Use tech to keep in touch

Pre-social distancing, technology was often blamed for making us feel more socially isolated; but we can also use it to build the sense of real-life community that we likely miss at the moment. Try ensuring that you speak to someone who makes you feel uplifted on the phone or via video call every day. You can arrange to share meals, play online games, or have creative sessions with loved ones via video call using apps like Zoom or Houseparty. We can even host virtual dinner parties by eating meals at the same time as those we miss; or have virtual book or movie clubs — where you decide on or discuss a book you are all reading, or film you’ve watched, on fortnightly or monthly calls. I recently played fun trivia games remotely with a group of pals around the world using Zoom and Jackbox TV online.

2. Proactively support others

As well as contacting those we trust and feel positive around when we are struggling ourselves, reaching out to those who might be feeling alone, anxious or overwhelmed, can also help us get through hard times together. Every morning when you wake up, try to think of two people you could check in on that day, with a message, call or supportive voice note to see how they are doing.

3. Get along better with your housemates

If you live with other people, keep in mind that we all deal with stress differently, and all have “up” and “down” days. In general, taking a few breaths before we react to someone else’s emotionally triggering behavior, and being open about how we feel and our needs — perhaps using the “ Nonviolent Communication “ method — rather than letting resentment build up, can help deepen mutual compassion and understanding.

4. Learn to self-soothe

It is also important to learn to look after our own emotional well-being as much as we can — this could be a good time to practice. It can help to make sure we do something we really enjoy every day (whether that’s dancing, singing, reading a good book or having a relaxing bath); keep on top of our sleep; exercise regularly; eat healthily and take breaks from technology. Journalling is a great way to understand, process and document our feelings, as is meditation; and listening to relaxing music (this is my favorite calming track right now) and spending time in nature (even with a house plant) is also known to boost our mood.

5. Know this is also bringing the world together

Research has found that shared challenges can bring people emotionally closer together. Although we might feel alone, this is also one of the most intense and novel shared experiences on a local, national and global level in generations. International governments are even working together to share information and resources with the World Health Organiszation.

Personal development writer & coach. Left-handed Londoner. Ex finance. Empowering the feminine. Find out more @ www.jessicawarren.co

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