7 Expert Tips For Coping With Loneliness & Staying Connected During COVID-19 Isolation

Photo: by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash
7 Expert Tips For Coping With Loneliness & Staying Connected During COVID-19 Isolation

Are you tired of being alone and being told to stay isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic?

This virus has made its way around the world in record time — which is certainly not a good thing, except to take note that we are all interconnected. Walt Disney had it right: “It’s a small world, after all.”

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Are you caught up on your Netflix watchlist and ready for something more meaningful?

Being alone through a challenging time can bring about feelings of isolation and despair, so we want to catch you before you fall.

Don’t let isolation cause you to withdraw and exacerbate feelings of loneliness. Instead, take actions that inspire you, help you to keep a positive mindset, and connect you to your friends and family.

If you’re tired of being alone and wondering when you’ll get a hug from someone, here are some ways to feel connected to others even while remaining physically distant.

Here are 7 expert tips for coping with loneliness and staying connected during COVID-19 isolation.

1. Reach out to friends and schedule regular check-ins.

If you’re tired of being alone and you’ve been hoping that your special someone will fulfill every part of your life, that might be a tall order. No one person can be everything to you.

People need friends that are a support system, and now is a good time to create stronger bonds with the friends you have.

Reach out to friends and connect with them via video chat, like Skype or FaceTime.

Make this part of your self-care routine and schedule time to connect with a few friends virtually on a regular basis or in a small group.

You can get creative and play virtual games, have a movie watch party, or host a dance party from your porch or computer.

2. Limit your news and social media intake.

Watching or reading the news can really drain your energy and take your emotional state into a downward spiral.

Stay up to date on local information and also limit your access to news headlines and reports.

Feeling tired of being alone can be exacerbated by hearing the same doom-and-gloom stories in the news over and over again, so protect yourself by setting a limit before you’ve gone off the cliff of feeling badly.

Maybe take one day off from consuming news entirely. If you’re following the guidelines of social distancing anyway, you won’t miss out on much if you skip out on one day a week.

You may find you enjoy being unplugged for a day!

If you're going to spend time on social media, make positive choices that have you feeling connected to your community. Post positive memes and ask others to share their inspiration.

Join an online group that inspires you and creates a network of like-minded souls. Or start your own and connect around the world with others who can uplift you on the days you're feeling down.

3. Speak up about how you feel and practice being authentic.

One of the biggest reasons you can feel alone (even when you’re not) is to distance yourself from those you love by not sharing how you're feeling.

Everyone wants to be accepted for who they really are, and yet most people are afraid to show up as who they actually are. Share your authentic self and give your loved ones the opportunity to support you through this time.

If you’re feeling like a jumble of nerves and anxiety and not quite sure how you feel, then first take time to discover your emotional life. Set up alarms on your phone throughout the day and track your emotional state.

If sharing your emotions with another person feels too scary, practice saying your feelings out loud to yourself (or in a mirror).

Emotions are part of being human, and expressing them out loud allows you to release them.

Many people hide their negative feelings and try to gloss over them with positive thinking. While you shouldn’t allow yourself to wallow in fear and self-pity, ignoring your fear or sadness can create an underlying uneasiness and anxiety.

Being detached from your emotions can create a chronic feeling of disconnection from others. The pathway to connect with others is by being curious about how they feel and think, and by sharing how you feel and think.

So if you’ve spent a lifetime being focused on others, use this time to go inward and create a connection with yourself by identifying how you are feeling (without judging your emotions).

Genuinely happy people also feel badly sometimes, they just don’t stay that way for long. Make it your goal to feel all your feelings and rather than judging them and wishing that you’d feel differently just accept your emotional life as information.

Resist the urge to try to change how someone else is feeling. Give other people grace and acceptance by acknowledging how they feel. This may take some practice, and it may even feel awkward at first.

Remember that your feelings (all of them) are temporary. The good feelings don’t last either, so no matter what is coming up for you, speak it out loud to yourself or to a friend.

Acknowledge your feelings and take some time to feel them.

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4. Ask for help.

If you’re tired of being alone, you'll benefit greatly by becoming accustomed to asking for assistance. Every person you know would feel good by doing something nice for you.

Now is not the time to be stoic or put up a false front when you feel down or frustrated.

Reach out to your family, friends, and community and ask for their help and advice. Most people want to help and are happy to step up for you when you need it.

If you're one of the helpers, then please make sure that you have the support you need to continue being of service. If you're exhausted or feeling resentful because you're giving but no one is stepping up to support you, speak up and reach out.

Many people are looking for something more meaningful to do than binging TV shows and posting memes on social media.

Let others know how they can be of service to you. You’ll be surprised at how many people will step up in your time of need.

5. Keep a meditation or prayer practice.

One of the best ways to counteract feeling alone is to be connected to source through meditation and prayer.

The idea that we are all one and the oneness of the universe is all achieved through connecting with you first and foremost. Meditation and prayer remind you that you are part of something larger than what is happening on the news or in your local community.

Connecting to a higher power can help give you the strength to persevere when times get tough. Put your faith in something greater than yourself, and you’ll discover a deeper purpose for the events happening in your life.

A practice of prayer can bring hope to your situation, calm your nervous system, build inner strength, and connect you to something more meaningful.

There are many different types of mediation practices, so try out different methods to see which one resonates with you the strongest. Look for online courses or virtual classes where you can simply follow along.

You can start off meditating a few minutes per day and then add on time or simply add on sessions. So if you begin with 10 minutes in the morning, you can add on to that, or do a second 10-minute session before bed.

6. Practice gratitude.

Gratitude in times of trouble is one of your most effective tools for becoming more resilient. A gratitude practice will increase your happiness and give you a new perspective on the events in your life.

Instead of focusing on feeling tired of being alone, put your focus on what is good in your life.

Begin a gratitude journal by writing down five things you are grateful for every night before going to sleep.

Encourage your family members to share what they are grateful for each day. Share your gratitude practice on social media and ask your community what they're grateful for.

Take time to tell your local cashiers at the market or pharmacy how grateful you are for them. Send online cards or emails to the people you cherish.

By taking your gratitude practice out into the world and sharing it with others, you will feel connected to a much larger community.

7. Foster a pet.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are causing many issues at animal shelters. With so much uncertainty many people are choosing to not adopt, and most adoption events have been canceled.

Shelter animals need our help and offer many benefits. Cuddling and caring for a pet will curb your loneliness.

Fostering a pet allows it to be a temporary situation if you’re not ready to make a full commitment.

If you decide to adopt a pet now, you’ll have plenty of time to bond while staying at home.

Many people admit that their pets have actually saved them. The unconditional love that you receive from a pet can teach you so much about love and being in a loving relationship.

Please take time during this crisis to nurture yourself and share your love with those around you.

Together, we can take this crisis and use it as an opportunity to create a better, more loving world for everyone.

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Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches, soul partners, and the founders of Creating Love on Purpose. Their work has helped thousands of readers connect with what it takes to find a true soul partnership, and they can help you, too. You can download a complimentary copy of their e-book, Recognizing Mr. Right on their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love on Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.