The #COVID_19 pandemic is going on to create an epidemic of loneliness, which can go on to harm our mental and physical health
Remote workers, have always been more likely to report feeling lonely - extremely unfortunate given our circumstances.
These statistics may put the severity of remote workers' loneliness into greater perspective:
- 53% of remote workers feel isolated while only 47% of in-person workers experience these same feelings, and
- 63% of remote workers lack friendships, while only 46% of in-person workers can say the same.
Outside of loneliness, social isolation has the potential to increase our chances of getting:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Cognitive decline
Still, staying isolated is the best approach to preventing the COVID-19 virus from spreading. Governments across the globe have been recommending civilians maintain at least 6 feet away from each other, avoid public transportation, cancel nonessential travel, work from home whenever possible, and skip large social gatherings.
However, protecting yourself from this virus by practicing social distancing doesn't have to make you feel lonely. Here's how you can fight loneliness amidst quarantining yourself.
Take Breaks From Online Classes & Work
It's easy to get carried away with working given the abundance of time we're spending at home. Remember, your time is still valuable - even indoors. Encourage yourself to take frequent 15 and 30-minute breaks from your work, and steer away from working on weekends. Conditioning yourself to a healthy work/home/life balance is important in times like these.
Have a Netflix Party!
If for some reason you aren't using Google Chrome as your default browser, now is the perfect gateway in doing so. Netflix Party is a Chrome extension you can use to watch Netflix remotely with your friends and families.
The extension works by syncing your movie with those you're remotely watching with, and even features a sidebar for integrated group chats. This way, you can chat along with your movie, reacting to your favorite scenes.
Call or Chat With Messenger Kids
Kids can feel isolated, too. Messenger Kids lets children safely video and chat and message with their friends and family since parents can control their contacts and access their messages. With this, adult family members can chat through their Facebook account.
Plan a Virtual Game Night
To distract yourself from the temptation of working away your weekends, hop online to play your favorite games with friends and family instead. These games include:
- Mario Kart Tour
- Cards Against Humanity
Make a Digital "Water Cooler" To Socialise On Breaks:
First and foremost, don't make engagement in your e-water cooler feel forced or mandatory - especially since doing so involves video-use. However, a digital breakroom can be a lot of fun and can provide you with ways to stay connected to your colleagues during the quarantine.
To do so, create a webcam "break room" for employees to interact. A great stepping stone in unveiling your idea is to plan an online gaming tournament during lunch hour.
It's a common misconception that social distancing means we must stay locked inside until the virus has passed. Social distancing doesn't mean you have to stay inside.
If you keep your distance from others, it's safe to go for a run, do some gardening, or walk the dog to get some fresh air and exercise.
Find a Balance: Set a Routine & Stick With It
People report less loneliness when they get just the right amount (not too much and not too much) of physical activity, sleep, and social interaction. To have success in everything previously mentioned, it's important to keep a routine - even when learning and working from home.
Doing so can reduce your mental fatigue, ultimately helping you feel happier and healthier. Try and wake up at the same time every day, shower, brush your teeth, change out of your pajamas, eat balanced meals, etc.
Moreover, stay in touch with those you'd normally be in-person with. Make plans to check-in regularly and plan virtual hangouts with your loved ones.
However, don't expect perfection in your efforts to minimize the downfalls of social isolation. We're all in this together, even if we're standing 6 feet apart.
How are you preventing feeling isolated under social distancing?