Being alone does not mean that you automatically feel lonely. While some people have no problem being alone, others are deeply affected and they develop a deep feeling of sadness which can trigger other mental issues.
Feeling lonely during quarantine? - Expert gives tips to tackle loneliness
Loneliness can trigger depression
With the current situation of COVID-19, those who are not emotionally okay might suffer adversely due to isolation, quarantine, and even working from home all alone. As Grace Kariuki, a counselling psychologist tells Pulselive, those struggling with self-worth, self-confidence and a sense of inadequacy might struggle with loneliness more during this period.
“Usually this sadness may come from a poor sense of self that creates a need for validation by others. Since then this may not be forthcoming, one can sink into an episode of depressive thoughts and emotions.” Grace notes.
However, this expert tells us that even if you are not living alone, you might also be at the risk of battling loneliness. This is especially the case in relationships whereby the spouses are not good at communicating and connecting. When your partner does not meet your intimacy and social needs, it can trigger a kind of loneliness that leads to conflicts, silent treatments, anger or even abuse.
Dangers of loneliness during quarantine
Apart from triggering mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, this therapist also tells us that loneliness can lead to other health problems.
For instance, it could trigger insomnia, ulcers, headaches, digestive problems, body aches, and other lifestyle illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.
She adds that in an attempt to cope with loneliness, behavioural issues like emotional eating, drugs and alcohol abuse, and, relational dysfunction like cutting off people and refusing to answer calls might arise.
Dealing with loneliness during quarantine
If you find yourself struggling with solitude during this period, Grace advises that you must first be intentional about self-care.
“Watch out what you are entertaining in your thoughts. What is the narrative about being alone? Are you feeling and saying to yourself that no one cares? Do you look at your phone and think, "No one has called me? No one loves me. I am all alone." This narrative then leads to sadness and self-hatred.” She says.
Tips to try when feeling lonely
Instead of waiting for people to get in touch, she advises that you become proactive and be the one to reach out to people when you feel a need to connect. Other tips you can use to fight loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic include;
- Exercise every day
- Develop new goals and have an accountability partner to help you achieve them
- Set daily targets of what you want to accomplish
- Have a daily structure if working from home
- Practice gratitude for the things you have as a way to interrupt the narrative of what you don't have
- Have a plan on what to do during free time
- Look at your bucket list and see if there are things you could cross out during this period
- Focus on spiritual nourishment
- Join online groups that focus on how to cope with the current pandemic
- Reach out to a counselor or life coach if you are unable to shake off the intense feeling of sadness due to being alone.
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