The new normal has called us to find ways to be more creative and stay connected to the one’s we love. By nature, we’re social animals and have an entire neuroendocrine system that responds to touch and social proximity with people we care about. This contributes to our wellbeing and connection in the world. Not experiencing this daily is really tough. Although this is our reality now, there are ways to overcome feelings of loneliness and sadness.
- Maintain a connection with the people who matter to you
Even though psychologically face-to-face conversations are best, right now they’re not possible. The alternative is video calls – they still serve as an emotionally bonding experience. Even phone calls are not as effective as video chats.
- Use social media actively, not passively
Psychologist, Melissa Hunt, researched how social media use, with being more active than passive contributes to mental health. In general, the research suggests that restricting total time on these platforms can decrease depression and loneliness, particularly if the time is active and spent engaging with family and friends. For now, she recommends ignoring social media time restrictions but focusing on more active use. This means more time posting and commenting and less time just scrolling. Also, it’s advisable to stop following people you don’t know well like celebrities or influencers, even acquaintances. Rather focus on engaging with those you know care about you.
- Replace lost physical contact
We all crave physical contact. If you’re in a position where you’re not getting physical contact at all, there are simple ways to replace the physical comfort we need. Exercise like yoga, pilates, stretching, pulls ups and anything that can provide a biochemical boost are recommended. Pets are a great alternative as well. There is positive oxytocin feedback that happens in both humans and dogs when you pet your dog. The more ways you can find to interact with your pet, the better.
- Appreciate the time you have
We can consciously decide how to feel about the time we have now. We can view it in a negative light as a prison sentence and keep wishing it away or we can view it as something to be grateful for. Choose to be intentional about what you do and be present in the moment. Mindfulness is a fantastic skill to learn.
- Set routines and timetables
Get into the habit of studying and working. In order to do this effectively, you need to set a timetable and routine, prioritising your activities and organizing the tasks you need to get done over the course of the day.