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Featured Discussion: How do you cope with Isolation & Loneliness while in Lockdown?

Discussion in 'EC Monthly Spotlight: October 2020' started by Spartan 117, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Spartan 117

    Community Facilitator Admin Team Full Member

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    Hello everyone,

    For this monthly discussion, we'd like to hear about how your mental health has been during lockdown. COVID-19 has changed our lives a lot, over the course of this year, and caused anxiety for many. Even if your government hasn't mandated that you must stay indoors, a lot of us are cutting back on social engagements, working from home and spending a lot more time indoors by ourselves. This can understandably lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

    - Have you felt lonely during this COVID crisis?

    - If so, have you found anything that helps you to feel less lonely and more connected to society?


    ---​

    I am usually quite introverted, and used to my own company, but there are some basic things about the outside world that I miss: shopping with friends, going to the cinema with my family, even going on dates (!). While I can catch up with friends on Zoom etc, I found that the novelty wore off quite quickly and it soon became quite exhausting to talk to people when neither of you really have any new experiences to talk about. I know some people find it comforting, but I found it more of a chore and mentally draining.

    What has helped me is engaging with an online community or group through a hobby. For me, I like multiplayer video games and they enable me to talk to my friends and even strangers while actively participating in something. While I appreciate video games aren't for everybody, they've definitely helped me through this crisis and generally with my mental health over the years. If you have a hobby that you can do at home, why not connect with an online group who also enjoys the same things that you do? It sounds cheesy and obvious but it is nice to feel a part of a community and have a shared experience with others.

    I read a study that said that new and diverse experiences were the secret to happiness. Breaking up your routine, even if it's just to go for a socially distanced walk in your neighbourhood, can help lift your spirits if you're feeling low.

    Speaking of feeling low, many are suffering with their mental health right now. Take your own mental health seriously. Here is a global list of suicide crisis phone-lines and websites. In particular I'd like to recommend the Samaritans and CALM here in the UK. The Trevor Project also runs a help line for LGBT folks in the US.

    Thanks to our moderators Hawk and Lostindaydreams for helping read over this topic.
     
    #1 Spartan 117, Oct 1, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  2. chicodeoro

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    I can't recommend the Samaritans enough for UK-based members. I've have phoned them twice in the last few months and they do an amazing job. They don't give advice; they just listen. I have phoned them when I have felt especially low, when I have felt that I just can't cope any more.

    My own experience is, admittedly, unusual. Since February I have lost my partner, realised I am trans, started to come out and am currently dealing with two legal battles with my stepson's vile, controlling father. All in the middle of a pandemic.

    In answer to the original question - yes, and the thing that has kept me connected has been friends. I am so blessed that I have people I can rely upon who live local-ish to me. Even during the most severest part of lockdown one friend kept coming round and visiting. We got into a routine of making food for each other and without her it is no exaggeration to say I would be in hospital by now.

    And, I have to say, sites like this. To know that there are other people in the world who are also coming to terms with who they are and are experiencing moments of profound change in their lives, during this global crisis, makes me feel less alone.

    Beth
     
  3. QuietPeace

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    My main hobby is table top role playing. From April thru June everyone here stopped real life games and went online, I don't have online media accounts due to things in my history. This left me with nothing really to do. At the same time my marriage ended, the marriage was not great but the things that happened during the ending were really bad. Fortunately I had a social worker and psych nurse who kept me going mostly. Also, an acquaintance became a close friend and now we are in a relationship, he really kept me stable through the worst times. I also created an account here and that has helped.
     
  4. LaurenSkye

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    The period of everything being shut down was horrible. I'm used to getting out almost everyday. A fun day for me during that period was going for a 30 minute walk. To make matters worse, I don't have internet at home (other than my phone data), I have to go to the library and the library was closed for two plus months. On top of that I only had a few hours advanced notice of everything being shutdown and had to just start grabbing whatever DVDs I could get from the library to keep me entertained. I was able to chat with a handful of friends I have on Facebook, so that helped a bit.

    Now that things have mostly reopened, it's a bit better. I can go to the library, but the number of available computes is limited due to social distancing. It's frustrating that while many restaurants have reopened it's the fast food places that are not allowing dine-in customers. I don't have a car so I can't drive thru, and I can't afford better restaurants very often.
     
  5. BlueMonday

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    I'm introverted and antihuman, so I relish it.
     
  6. Mirko

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    I can't say that I felt lonely during the pandemic. I am quite the introvert and am an avid reader. Most of my free time, the look of it, feel of it, didn't change for me. In an article, and I forget where I read it, I read an author talking about being an introvert and she said (paraphrasing) "The world joined me in solitude." I could connect with it immediately.

    During the height of the lock down, it was actually nice getting up in the morning not hearing any traffic outside.I liked the city getting quieter. I for one, did not miss the tourists during the spring/summer months. Those are the months I usually dread because it can get quite loud with all the festivals and summer long events. I have gotten used to it over the years and it hasn't really bothered me, but it was great not having to hear any of it this year. Walking on deserted streets that usually teem with tourists and locals during the spring and even early summer was just great!

    I did have my moments though where I missed going for a coffee with a friend or meet for a regular book chat. We started getting together over Zoom but it certainly was not the same. Getting together with my sister was also a bit more 'complicated' because she lived (before moving) at the other end of town and with the buses not running as frequently and not feeling safe being on them, we resorted to calling/texting each other more than we usually would. It helped but it left bit of a gap as it were.

    Only during the last month or so, did I start getting together with others for the book chat again - the last time we met was in a park where we could sit, chat about books with social distancing. It was actually quite nice and the ability to do that, made me in some ways appreciate getting together even more. :slight_smile:
     
  7. Old Dog

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    I TINKER,,,,,
    I built an old car...
    I play around with Linux Operating Systems
    see which one works,,
    And I cook, clean house,,,and socialize with my old dog,,, hope she lives till Christmas
     
  8. AwesomGaytheist

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    I’ve been spending a lot more time online and in chat rooms. If I really need to get out of the house I just go for a drive. I’m pretty much a recluse anyway but I miss the days when you didn’t have to worry about dying every time you have to go get groceries.
     
  9. Old Dog

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    AwesomeGaythiest
    Amen on the shopping for groceries....
     
  10. Old Dog

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    Spartan 117, as the loneliest human here, I find the virus makes little difference....
     
  11. musicals

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    I am not coping. I was already a depressed, loser, lonely, friendless, and shut-in before the virus pandemic. Now, at least i have a excuse for being like this. Ha.
     
  12. Hawk

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    When the virus was first introduced here I did have urges to want to get away to the city for the day, but now that we're getting into the cooler months, I haven't been too eager to travel outside of the community. College has been taking up a lot of my time as well, and given that it's online I don't have a reason to travel anywhere.

    Online communication helps to stay connected with friends and family, and most places around here are transitioning to online resources, it's quite convenient to stay connected with people.
     
  13. Old Dog

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    Musicals,,,,I will chat with anybody,, even you....
     
  14. BlueLion

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    It was hard for me during lockdown, as I guess it was for most of you. I missed going out for a simple walk, but I had to learn to be patient. As for the social side, I barely notice any difference, since I tend to spend a lot of time on my own. However, I had a lot of moments when I felt lonely and depressed. Also, I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching different kinds of videos.
     
  15. Old Dog

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    I have been a loner most of my life, Dog excluded, I LOVE my dog.
    Her and I went out Saturday and I had more fun than I have had in years.
    She enjoyed it to and I got at least 3 compliments on my dog.
    Still I am concerned about anyone here who is in need a someone to talk to.
    I will give you an ear if you are lonely.....
     
  16. Nespit

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    I binge listen to music, movies and draw when I'm in the mood for it.
     
  17. HM03

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    Covid definitely had/has me feeling a little lonely, although surprisingly not significantly more so that usual. I miss going to places like libraries and just being able to sit in a little nook lol.

    Communicating (and occasionally video-calling) with both online friends and irl friends helped a bit.

    COVID or not, I am the type of person that needs to keep busy to feel my best. During the peak of lock down I replayed a ton of videogames, watched a series or two, and took a nice long walk most days. I also tried to learn Spanish online (maybe I should try again?) lol
     
  18. LakanLunti

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    Depression and loneliness didnt hit me in the first few months of the lockdown, but like come June and it hit me bad. I feel alone even though I am living with my supportive family. I feel so bad that even games and doing art doesnt help. Rumors about our company removing some employees didnt help. I was really down. I always lock myself in my room.

    I've read online that starting a new habit can help you with cope up with depression so for the first time ever, I bought a book. I'm not proud of it but I was not really a fan of reading books but hey I'm willing to change. I bought one like few months ago thinking I won't like it really, but now bought like P10,000 worth of books just in past month lol. I'm not gonna say I am a big reader now (I still read books very slow) but I like that it takes me away from the lockdown anxiety. I've read Legend of Orisha books (Children of Blood and Bones, Children of Virtue and Vengeance) by Tomi Adeyemi. I'm currently reading non-fictional books like Art of War and How to Talk to Strangers. If you guys can recommend any LGBT book, then that would be great!

    I also started working out! I bought a small dumbell and Yoga mat. I exercise with my mom and we casually talk about stuff. She even urged me to give them grandchildren even if it was through adoption. I told her I need to find a partner first lol. We never talked about that even after coming out to them 2yrs ago.
     
  19. BlueLion

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    I don't know if you've heard about a movie called Love, Simon (You probably have). That movie is based on a book called Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The story is about a closeted gay teenager who starts to exchange e-mails with another closeted gay teenager from his high school. I think it's a fun reading.

    Also, there is a long letter that Oscar Wilde wrote to his lover when he was imprisoned due to his homosexuality. It is called De Profundis. In this letter, Wilde talks about their relationship.
     
  20. JustSami

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    Uuuh I usually forget that there are other people in the world...