How is social isolation going for everybody? Boredom and loneliness are feelings being shared by people all over the world more than ever, as well as financial fears and concerns. I am very lucky to have a job that I can do from home, and my husband is also able to stay home.
I am also grateful that we have a house with enough room to have time apart. We lived in one bedroom apartments for a long time and as well as we get along, it is always good to have some alone time.
To combat feelings of loneliness and boredom I have been doing the following. Hopefully something will be helpful for you to try.
- I’m working when I would normally be working, which means I’m only sleeping a half hour later than when I go to work. Sleep schedule is a key part of good sleep hygiene and is important to help mood.
- I have been taking a walk (almost) every day. This has played a huge role in keeping me grounded. To encourage a walk, my husband and I have chosen a particular flower bed in a nearby public garden to take a picture of every day. This gives us a goal out of the house and will let us have pictures as the flowers grow. Note: At the time this is written the CDC says it is still okay to go for walks outside as long as you remain 6 feet apart.
- “Date night!” We can’t go somewhere public, which means we haven’t been dressed any nicer than jeans and a t-shirt. We decided to have a night for which we get dressed up, cook a nice meal, and depending on weather either have a picnic or dine inside. I have only started wearing makeup in the last 6-7 months, but I’m already really excited to have an excuse to put it on. We’ll try to do this one night a week as long as the need for isolation lasts.
- Exercise has been important because not leaving the house can make me feel stiff and lazy and blah. I have done yoga, gone for a run, and taken really long walks as ways to stay active. I have incentivised this by giving myself a dollar a day if I exercise.
- Movie (or stand up comedian) night is something else we have found to be fun. We don’t watch a ton of TV, so that in itself is a minor event. For movie night we have snacks for dinner. The other night out snacks were jalapeno poppers, baked cauliflower with Italian spices, and candied carrots. After making everything and looking at our plates we realized we had unintentionally chosen snacks so healthy many wouldn’t think of them as snacks. We enjoyed it and that’s what matters.
- Enjoying time with pets is another great thing to do. Our cats, particularly Seamus, are so happy we are home. Seamus has been spending much of his time following me and sleeping in my lap.
Everyone has different things that will help them in this confusing time. Try to keep your spirits up, and if you can’t, don’t be hard on yourself about it. We all are going to have good and bad days. If your bad day become too bad, please remember to call the suicide hotline or text the suicide textline. Both phone numbers are available on my help page.