How Social Distancing Strains Our Mental Health
May 5, 2020
Things get pretty stressful now that the world experiences a crisis. In times like this, where the global health issue is about the Coronavirus, social distancing becomes entirely essential. It is the only available strategy that helps flatten the curve and slows down the spread of the virus. However, if we are not careful, our only chance of not getting infected can also take a toll on our mental health. With that, let us try to understand how social distancing can be dangerous to our mental stability and know how we can help ourselves in managing it.
It Promotes Loneliness And Sadness
The combination of social distancing and anxiety can cause a negative effect. That is if we suffer from a pre-existing mental illness. Practicing social distancing for an extended period can influence the adverse impact of social isolation, precisely our feeling of sadness or loneliness. Sadness and loneliness are known not only in increasing different levels of depression and anxiety; it can also lead to a decrease in our immune system’s function. So to avoid loneliness and sadness, we have to make use of the available outlets. We must digitally check-in with friends and family so we can keep ourselves emotionally and mentally connected with people despite the social distancing protocol. We can send a text, start a video chat, or make a phone call. Any means are okay as long as we keep connected.
It Causes Boredom
The boredom caused by social distancing affects mental health in an unnoticeable way. That is due to the limited amount of ideas of what we can do each day. And ever since the social distancing protocol started, all of us feel that days and nights begin to feel more prolonged than usual. It promotes the lack of sufficient engagement with our surroundings, which makes us feel irritated and annoyed all the time. It adds to our stress because we somehow think we are locked up in a situation we cannot control. That explains why even if we already completed some of the tasks we listed, we still get bored. To fight boredom, we need to come up with new ideas and hobbies. There are a lot of things we can do, such as reading, writing, dancing, and learning new things. Anything that can keep our minds stimulated is an excellent way to reduce boredom.
Its Uncertainty Brings Stress And Panic
Social distancing is the one responsible for our interrupted routines. It limits us from doing certain things because of the idea of not getting infected. However, for some of us, it adds to stress and panic due to its uncertainties. These include the difficulty of our job and financial status. A lot of us are struggling to make ends meet even before this outbreak. And now that there’s a strict requirement for social distancing, the fear of not being able to work and support our family is draining our mental health. That is the reason why we feel a lot of unexplained emotional and psychological burden. To cope with this, we must engage and establish a new routine we can adapt at home. Yes, it might take us a while to get used to the new set of habits. But it will soon help us become more focused on being grounded and productive.
It is undoubtedly the most stressful time for all of us. But we have to recognize that in a pandemic time like this, practicing self-care is crucial. We need to acknowledge that we are more susceptible to different kinds of stress right now, and the only way we can stay positive is by keeping our mental health better. An easy and convenient way to do this is by subscribing to an online therapist from BetterHelp. With just a click of the app from your smartphone, you are able to connect with a professional counselor who is trained in tackling various mental health conditions, including stress and anxiety. Check out some of the clients’ reviews here to have a clearer perspective of how it works. Good luck!