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Dealing with Isolation

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Hawk, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Hawk

    Community Facilitator Admin Team Full Member

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    • Since the world has been in lockdown for a year now, have you been dealing with feelings of social isolation?
    • If you’ve had feelings of isolation or loneliness, how have you been coping?
    • What advice would you give someone who is going through feelings of isolation?


    I have found online resources to be helpful to meet other people and have a sense of connection towards a community, whether it be LGBT or otherwise. I've been noticing a lot of organizations are turning to online resources such as weekly video calls or hangouts.

    For myself, I’ve been keeping busy with my college courses, and I’m not completely alone as I have my parents for company. Though, there are times where I’d like to go out and meet other people or participate in LGBT meetings or activities that the nearest Pride Centre holds to get a sense of community, which you may not always get in online settings. I personally don't like virtual meetings as I prefer to meet people in person rather than online, but hopefully before the end of 2021, we can join group activities again and things can get back to normal.

    In what ways are you dealing with the feelings of social isolation?
     
  2. HM03

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    During peak lockdown, I mainly did group [video] calls with my main group of friends. There are also some apps/chrome extensions that let you watch Netlfix and play games "together" in real time. It also encouraged to me reach out to some friends that I hadn't talked to in awhile!

    Lockdown or not, I find a change of scenery really helps me with unpleasant emotions. In the old days that would include things like rotating which library I studied at (lol), and more recently included doing different walking routes through my end of town.
     
    #2 HM03, Mar 6, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  3. Frederik

    Frederik Guest

    I like to mention a beautiful words of Alexi (Alec Utgoff) :

    "Each day it’s getting harder to improve yourself and at some points you think that you’re just revolving around the same spot. Not really moving forward and maybe even that you’re getting sucked back. This is a point where you want to stop...and most do. I suppose the difference is that those who continually gain success have an insatiable hunger for life and development. Whether it’s an inch or a mile, day by day. Never quite sated with what is achieved and so leave their triumphs at the point of realisation. History is never kind to critics as it fails to remember them. There’s nothing worse than regret"

    well i know its an hard time and for most of us its intolerable but i learned from life the first things you need is to having a wish or dream because that dream will keep you alive and give you energy and reason to dealing with problems or suffering hard times .i have a big dream for my life and anytime i think about it , i make smile and its make me very happy .ALSO sport and daily workout at your home is a great help . i doing it and i give you 100% guarantee because when you push yourself hard for daily workout , it will evacuation all of your negative energy from your mind and your body . i do 1 hour Stationary bike while im watching youtube or you can do pushup and crunches and all aerobic workouts + music

    :four_leaf_clover:
     
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  4. BradThePug

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    I guess you could say I am fairly lucky. I work in an essential business, so I was able to talk with coworkers. The main problem for me is that I was switched to 3rd shift, so talking with friends and family was hard. Also, my friends and family live in a different area than I do. So, I wad pretty used to talking on the phone or by video call. I'm now back on my old shift, so that had helped me to be able to talk with others again, which has helped. I've picked up reading again, which is something I have not done in a while. These things have helped me a lot. The sad thing is that just as I started to become more confident and get out in the community more, we went into lockdown.
     
  5. PatrickUK

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    This is one of those occasions where I will refrain from giving advice to other members because I haven't been doing great with lockdown and social isolation myself. In England we are just emerging from a national lockdown that was imposed by the government at Christmas after Covid-19 started to run out of control.

    Zoom/Skype and Facebook meetings and calls have helped to some extent, but it's not been the same as meeting up with friends and being able to give each other a good hug. Hands off and keep your distance with a face covering has not been good for me. I've had to draw on my reserves to get through this.
     
  6. chicodeoro

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    I lost my partner four weeks before the first UK lockdown and my stepson has been a weekend visitor since the autumn. Yes, I've been struggling but I think the knowledge that there are so many other people in the same position has been strangely comforting. I have felt a kind of solidarity at-arm's-length, if you will. Had the world been 'normal' it might be have been a lot harder to accept what has happened to me. As it is I can console myself that I'm not the only one and so many people have lost loved ones due to Covid.

    How have I coped? Phone calls, watching TV, comfort food, forums like this and, most of all, my cats. I didn't really talk to them until this last year but I'm now fairly certain I'm going to end up as the archetypal mad cat lady.

    I abhor the idea of communicating to friends and loved ones via a screen. In fact, I even hate the word 'zoom' (unless it's in reference to the Fat Larry's Band hit of the early 80s). To me it's simply redolent of the mental anguish, pain and grief that characterised 2020.

    Not sure I can give much advice other than to remember the words 'this too shall pass'.
     
  7. Loves books

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    I’ve been lonely for years. I don’t have any friends but I live with my parents. Most of the time I’d rather I didn’t have their company. Lockdown changed nothing for me except I cant go to the home wares shop I like. I live in the countryside my only other company is my dog, and the feral cat that sounds like a crying child at night.
     
  8. BlueMonday

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    I'm a huge introvert, so it has zero emotional effect on me.
     
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  9. Lesbee

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    I'm introverted in the sense that I get "recharged" by my alone time, and feel totally drained when doing social activities... but I'm also bit of an extroverted introvert, in that I really enjoy getting involved in most social activities despite the fact that I'm drained and prefer to be home alone with a book or something. Unfortunately for either case, I have three (loud) teenaged children who live at home with me and my partner, in a very small home. It has been maddening. Not because I'm socially isolated (well, a little), but because I have NO SPACE.

    I too have done the online video calls, which personally I have a love/hate relationship with, as I love not having to drive (or get dressed really) and can see people I'd normally never be able to see, but I too miss those hugs, and getting the fresh air, and having excuses to say "no" to stuff. (Although I do have boundaries and say no when I need to!)

    And like has been mentioned I too take walks which helps, but after a year of seeing my neighborhood, I'm pretty bored of it at this point. It's still nice to get outside though - even if only to check the mail.

    I also was working out regularly earlier on, but it's hard to prioritize that when I have so many people who need me at all times, and meals to prep, and endless cleaning, and work that I can't seem to focus on because I just don't have the motivation. :/ On the other hand, I've found a pomodoro app that I've been using which has helped with the motivation piece. I can work in 25 minute focused intervals knowing I have a break coming up.

    What's helped me with the needing space side has been a few things. I had found a folding table that I've been using as a desk in the corner of my bedroom, and recently I rearranged it so that the desk sticks out into the room, so what's behind me now is my wall, rather than the entire room. The bedroom may feel smaller, but now it feels like I have a real "office". Another thing that helped was bringing in more nature. I have a couple tiny plants on my desk, and I found some fake ivy online and some micro fairy lights which I've pinned to the wall around me. It now feels like my office is also an enchanted forest! I think feeling like there are more "rooms" to visit helps break the day up a little more. I'm still going to be VERY excited once the kids go back to school, but I'd still prefer to work from home (and believe that won't be a problem even as things start opening back up). I'm also looking forward to getting vaccinated and being able to spend time in person again though - we have a lot of hugs and parties to catch up on!
     
  10. Patrick7269

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    For me there have been a few challenges and lessons learned. I still cannot say that I am handling things well, but I think I am headed in the right direction.

    In fall 2019 I left my job because I was burned out and needed time for myself. Little did anyone know that the pandemic was around the corner. Fortunately I have emergency savings and I can survive, but the realization that I was looking for work during a pandemic was pretty sobering. My field (information security) is in strong demand so I feel very fortunate overall though.

    In spring 2020 I took a contract job and was bullied for being gay. Or more to the point, I was bullied for being hired to automate work through software, and me being gay was just the way for my coworkers to tell me I wasn’t welcome. After a few weeks of gay slurs I reported this to Human Resources, got next to no help, and so I resigned - during a pandemic. Yes, I would rather be unemployed during a pandemic than to face discrimination and harassment.

    My mom came down with COVID-19 after going to a family holiday party, and I am staying with family so that we can all support her as she recovers. Thankfully she will be okay, and although she is weak she should make a full recovery.

    How do I cope with these things? Not super well. I have been very depressed and I am staying with my family in part because of it. I find myself worrying about how long it will take to find work, whether I can keep my home, whether I should move, and whether the world will ever get back the way it was. I just miss my old life.

    Still, there are a few things that I can recommend.

    First, I’m trying to let go of self-judgment and judgment in general. The current situation is what it is for now, and it happened because of a virus. It’s not God’s punishment on the world (at least I don’t think so), it’s not anyone’s fault. I sure as hell blame some leaders in the US for not acting responsibly to stem the tide, but the origin of the pandemic, as far as we know, is an act of nature. So I’m trying to forgive life and unfortunate events.

    Second, I’m trying to be content with less. I am living on emergency savings and (hopefully) should have unemployment income at some point, so it is very important that I postpone the remodeling project, the hobbies, the trip etc. I just need to get by and that is everything right now.

    Third, I’m trying to be grateful. I am able-bodied, I am able-minded, I have a loving family, my mom is well and has survived COVID-19, I (despite being out of work at the moment) am in a good field and there are lots of job prospects. Although life has changed a lot in a year I am still grateful for what I still have.

    Fourth, I’m trying to be at least a little social. I try to get out each day, even if it’s just to walk somewhere. I text and call people, and I try to have video chats often. I also have a few friends that share social activities within our social “bubble” and this helps a bit too.

    Fifth, I’m trying to eat well, sleep, and get some exercise. Although these vary from day to day, I am keeping my physical health in mind.

    Sixth, I’m trying to not think too far ahead or think too deeply. I don’t need to solve all of my problems in a day, I just need to make it. And I don’t need to understand everything. I only need to know what I need to know in my small life, not to find all the answers.

    So, “I’m trying” a lot, and sometimes I’m okay and sometimes I’m failing. Most of all I just remind myself that World War II, the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, etc. were all events that other human beings survived. I have been personally fortunate enough that my life has been relatively stable and comfortable. It just so happens that I am living through this pandemic.

    Patrick