In the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic, although we have limited control in avoiding exposure or infection, social distancing and isolation are measures we can implement which can go a long way towards reducing our exposure. As useful as these measures are, they have an unavoidable psychological impact which gets aggravated by the uncertainty brought on by the physical and economic effects of the Corona Virus, the lockdown and the changes these have brought on to our lives.
For some the lockdown may have started off as a welcome reprieve from the rush of everyday life that we have become accustomed to, but due to the extension, the continued limitation on movement and/or ability to work under Level 4 of the Lockdown, it may seem more like house arrest as the weeks go by and as one finds themselves stuck in the same routine, in the same house, with the same people, day-in and day-out, without an opportunity to escape by either going to work or through business travel.
The isolation becomes loneliness and extremely stressful due to an inability to socialise, connect face-to-face with friends and colleagues, share experiences with others, provide and receive social support, etc. This is bound to increase stress, anxiety and even paranoia, thus make things worse. How can we counter this?
Don’t let the time go to waste – self reflect
Since you may have a lot more time to yourself and you cannot run from yourself, use the time effectively to reconnect with yourself. Embark on an inner journey to assess your goals, beliefs, values, strengths, areas of development, etc.
Although unable to connect physically, you can connect regularly with friends and family using the various electronic media platforms which help to make us feel closer to others.
Reconnect with friends and families whom you have not been close to. Strengthening these connections can help you to cope better with the effects of isolation. Being and remaining in contact with others can contribute to a sense of togetherness, this may be especially important to people who live alone or those who crave a connection with others outside of their own home.
Connect on a deeper level with the family members you are on lockdown with. This time provides an opportunity to open up and strengthen relationships within the family.
As much as we all anticipate life after lockdown, it goes without saying that life will not be the way it was prior to the lockdown. Why not take this time to prepare yourself for the “new normal” as we will have no option but to adapt, and adapt quickly, to different ways of doing work, studying, conducting meetings, etc.?
There is a variety of on-line learning platforms which have taken up the space and provide webinars on a range of practical topics.
In the disruption of our “normal lives” we need to look for practical ways to deal with the sudden changes we have no control over.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won’t have a title until later on”, Bob Goff.
“Change the way you look at things; and the things you look at change”, Wayne Dyer.