(This thread was initially part of our monthly sub-forum for the month of October. However, it is still open for replies.) 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.