I am constantly surrounded by my friends and loved ones. Well, I used to be until the coronavirus decided to literally ruin everything. The lack of partying, physically attending classes, and seeing my favorite people around the clock has forced me to face the dreadful loneliness I feel inside. How do I manage without my usual distractions?
Dear Miss. Lonely,
There has been an extreme lack of attention to the mental health effects associated with pandemics. Fear and anxiety induced from COVID-19 can cause changes in sleep and eating patterns, difficulty in concentration, worsening mental health conditions and the increased use of drugs in order to cope.
First of all, it is important to take care of yourself. The continuous cycle of news stories predicting the return to normal can become stressful. Take breaks from hearing about the pandemic and replace it with pampering your body. Meditating, eating well-balanced meals, exercising and getting eight hours of sleep are essential. Entertain activities that you would otherwise not have time for. If it seems that stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, it may be a good idea to consider reaching out to a healthcare provider.
After treating yourself to some self-care, check in with your loved ones often. Thanks to technology, virtual communication is literally in the palm of our hands. A thoughtful text or phone call can go a long way in helping companions feel less lonely and isolated.
Personally, this quarantine has provided me with an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with those I had not made time for in the past. Reaching out to people from the past and new friends through iMessage, Facetime, and even Animal Crossing has been fulfilling considering the situation we all share.
It is important to remember that this will pass. Imagine how beautiful the world will be post-quarantine. Celebrations will be bigger, love will be more cherished and people will be kinder to one another. The triumphant return of Canes in the fall will be one for the history books.
You are loved,