At Home on Our Own – 5 Tips on Coping with Isolation during Lockdown
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives tremendously. Most of the changes have led to a significant increase in experiencing stress – many of us are concerned about our health, some have lost their jobs, many people have experienced both, and even those who haven’t are feeling isolated because of restrictions. In addition to that, no one knows how long this situation is going to last. Each of these problems would normally be difficult to deal with in itself, let alone combined. There exists plenty of advice on how to cope with these individual issues. Here we offer some tips on how to cope with isolation, so if you have been forced to work from home for too long (which is a subjective measure, but in this case that is exactly what counts), this article is for you. It is not a definite list, but it can point you in the right direction.
… or dance. It doesn’t really matter. What is important is that movement enhances oxygen circulation, the level of endorphins and other “happy hormones” that are good for you. It boosts your mood and keeps you fit in times when you don’t have enough physical activity. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear yourself out. Less is more, it is more important that the exercise be regular. It should be fun in the first place. Find the kind of physical activity that suits you the best. Remember that it might not be that much fun at the beginning, especially if you haven’t done much sport recently. But if you stick to the exercise that suits you, it does not only get fun but it benefits your health and mood enormously.
2. Meet other people online
It is not the same to meet online as to meet in real life, but it is still better than not to meet at all. The call doesn’t have to be long, it is nice just to say ‘Hi’ to a friend. It turns out that it is other people that we miss after all and not the pubs.
3. Learn something new
As in the previous case, online courses might not be as much fun as in-person courses, but you can finally get to what you always wanted to do when you didn’t have the time. Write a book. Learn Swedish, or improve your German. Try joggling … or playing balalaika (it actually exists, I searched it). Anything that you didn’t have time to try because it was too crazy or too time-consuming. However, many people say that in the end, they have even less time than they used to have, therefore ...
… your time and your space. First, try to differentiate your working space from the space where you relax. It might be difficult in a small apartment, especially if you share it with someone else, but you can always manage. Dedicate one corner to work only and a different corner to leisure. Or use the same space but rearrange it differently for work and for your free time. It psychologically distinguishes your work from your leisure. Similarly, watch your working hours and distinguish them from your free time. In normal life, we might manage our work-life balance (oh, cheesy HR terminology, I know, but still important) without noticing but when we have to work from home for an extended period of time this might require our attention. Moreover, many bosses push harder. Therefore we should be more aware of our time management. Otherwise we could end up with many hours of overtime, which might earn us more money, but money is not all that we need in order to live, is it?
5. Do something good
All the lockdowns and pandemic restrictions might make us feel like we can’t live our lives fully, but you can still do something truly meaningful by helping others. There are many people who would really appreciate help in times like these. Do you have a stable job? Send some money to those in need. Have some free time? Volunteer to help healthcare workers or seniors. Do you have special skills? Priceless! You can use them during these difficult times and feel better for doing something good … or you can help just because it is a nice thing to do.
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