When you are isolated at home, feelings of loneliness can set in. It’s not easy for anyone who is not able to see friends and family regularly or for those who are unable to go out and run simple errands. Being isolated at home can, therefore, be incredibly difficult, especially for those who live alone. The good news is that there are ways to avoid loneliness, even when you can’t leave the house. From keeping busy to tips for communicating with relatives, this article offers some useful advice to help you in your efforts.
Share daily goings-on with your family
One of the best ways of avoiding loneliness during isolation is to stay in regular contact with your family. Just because you can’t see each other in person doesn’t mean you can’t keep each other abreast of your daily goings-on. See something fun online? Share it with your family. Watch an interesting programme on television? Let your loved ones know. When you are stuck at home, don’t feel bad about overcommunicating. This way the distance between you and those you love will feel much smaller.
If you think the constant phone calls might mean you will soon run out of things to talk about, there is a way around this. The team at mental health charity Mind advise: “If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a show or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other.”
Utilise video calls
When you can’t see people in person, it’s important to try and find alternative ways of communicating. So, beyond phone calls, text, and email, what can be done? Try giving video calls ago. This has never been simpler thanks to today’s modern phone apps and PC software. While not the same as being there in person, you can enjoy each other’s company and see the faces of those you care about in this alternative fashion.
Jud Brewer, MD, PhD, a neuroscientist and university professor, has told Health.com that video calls can be an excellent option: “As with many things, quality matters more than quantity. In the end, I won’t be surprised if we learn that some of us actually deepen our relationships because this crisis forced us to use new channels of communication.”
So, try scheduling a video call on a semi-regular basis with a friend or family member and just have a good chinwag as if you were hanging out in person.
Make a family group messaging chat
Another excellent option to keep the conversation and communication going between friends and family is to set up a group messaging chat. This can be done via text message or on instant messaging service like Whatsapp. With a handful of people all in the same group, you can have a constant source of chatter delivered straight to your phone. This will definitely help things feel more normal as you can engage in conversation with multiple people at the same time. Whether you are discussing the latest episode of a TV show or chatting about the news, it can be a big help in efforts to avoid loneliness.
Give your day structure
For those usually at work and are now at home, that normal structure to your day will no longer exist. If you are just aimlessly going about the day with no set plan of action, unfortunately, this is when those feelings of loneliness will more likely arise. So, consider giving your day some solid structure. Utilising a calendar, piece of paper, or just a mental note, plan the day ahead. Think about what you are going to do in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Then stick to this plan.
Very Well Mind – an online mental health resource – says that creating a schedule can be very beneficial: “Even if you are isolated at home, try to keep to a regular schedule as much as possible. While loneliness can feel like it will never end, trying to make these days feel as ‘normal’ as possible will help you to get through.”
Connect with others
Don’t just limit your communication to those you know. The internet has brought human beings closer together than ever before and social media – when used correctly – can be hugely beneficial. Perhaps you could join a Facebook group for topics you are interested in, play an online word game against other players (such as Scrabble), or chat with others on a forum or Reddit page about subjects that interest you – such as TV or history.
Participate in remote hangout sessions
Just because you can’t spend time with friends and family in person, doesn’t mean you can’t share experiences with each other. An option that many people enjoy is participating in remote hangout sessions. This can take many forms but one of the most common is a watch-a-long. Decide with friends or family to watch a film at the same time and speak to each other as you do – either via phone, Skype, or another video call app. Or you can simply message each other as the film is playing, talking about your favourite moments. With streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+, watch-a-longs have never been easier.
Start a project
Filling your days with fun, engaging, and challenging activities will be key to fighting off feelings of loneliness. With that in mind, consider starting a new project. This can be anything from tasks in the garden to painting rooms, or building something from scratch. Your new project doesn’t even need to be overly physical; your project could be more personal such as learning a new language or an instrument. It’s when we are bored that loneliness can creep in so busying yourself with an engrossing task or project will be a big help.
Benefit from escapism
There is nothing wrong with a little escapism now and then. And when you are stuck at home and perhaps not feeling your best self, it can be more important than ever to distract yourself. Readers find nothing better than escaping into a great novel and a world vastly different from their own, spending time with colourful characters amid exciting events. Likewise, with film and TV, these mediums can help transport us away from our own situation and be a truly magical tool for combatting feelings of loneliness.
Tips to avoid loneliness during isolation
- Share daily goings-on with your family
- Utilise video calls
- Make a family group messaging chat
- Give your day structure
- Connect with others
- Participate in remote hangout sessions
- Start a project
- Benefit from escapism
We hope these tips prove helpful during your period of isolation. By trying some of the above, you can make your time alone not only manageable but quite pleasant. For those who lack mobility or perhaps just want the extra convenience, discover domestic lift prices and make your time at home even more enjoyable.
For more advice and tips, make sure to take a look at our news page.