Select Page

Top tips to beat social isolation blues

2nd April 2020

No man is an island

The phrase ‘no man is an island’ is one you’ve no doubt heard before. When writing this, the English poet, John Donne was expressing the idea that human beings do badly when isolated from one another as we need to be part of a community in order to thrive. 

Currently many of us now find ourselves in this unfamiliar situation through no choice of our own. Social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear of others and low self-esteem. Research has found that the magnitude of risk associated with social isolation is comparable with that of cigarette smoking and other major biomedical and psychosocial risk factors.

Further research indicates that it may contribute to lower overall cognitive performance and poorer executive functioning, faster cognitive decline, more negative and depressive cognition, and heightened sensitivity to social threats.

Although the picture this paints is hardly a pretty one, it’s important to remember that it is possible to still communicate with the outside world and our loved ones. Indeed, it is essential to do so in order to protect our mental health. 

With that in mind, here are our recommendations to minimise the impact of self-isolation on your emotional well-being.

Pick up the phone every day

I know this sounds obvious, but it needs stating. The novelty and uncertainty of the current situation might have caused you to feel shell shocked and unsettled. You might find yourself not feeling as sociable as you would normally. You may not feel like talking to someone on the phone as you are still trying to internally process what’s happening.

All of these are normal reactions to the pandemic. However, picking up the phone and reaching out to someone is exactly what will help. People won’t expect you to be your usual self right now. They will understand if you decide you want to share your fears and concerns. You may decide to phone a friend, a family member or even seek more formal mental health support.

Talking to someone on the phone will allow you to retain that social connection which is more important now than ever.

Video calls

There are now numerous platforms that allow you to make video calls. Being able to see your loved ones and read the emotion in their faces as you talk to them adds another level of connection and can lift your mood more than a phone call.
And, for those of you who may consider yourselves to be technophobes, we promise you they are easier to use than you may think.

Virtual groups

One way to stay connected to a number of people at any one time is to set up a group where numerous people can chat to and support one another. This creates the feeling that there are people there for you and can help to reduce experiences of loneliness.

Virtual drinks parties

This is a great option for those of you who want to create the sociable vibe from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Platforms exist that can allow you to speak to a number of people on the same call. This means you can sit there with a glass of wine or a cup of tea while talking to your friends as if they were sitting there in front of you. 

Final thoughts

Khody Damestani, leading therapist and co-founder of MyMindPal, says: “Staying connected to others is incredibly important to reduce the negative impact of self-isolation. Technology offers numerous ways that you can do that. Coping with this unusual situation we find ourselves in can be made easier by remaining connected to one another and offering support and non-judgmental communication.”

You Might Also Like

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day Has Never Been More Important As the UK braces itself for a return to stricter lockdown measures, and the ensuing impact it’s bound to have on our emotional wellbeing, World Mental Health Day has never taken on greater significance. In June,...

A New Discovery For Treating Trauma

A New Discovery For Treating Trauma

Meditation is receiving a lot of attention in the wellbeing space – more so than ever in fact. Whether it’s online meditation programmes or apps, never before has this tool been so widely available.  Meditation’s positive impact is beyond question; research has...

Footballers In Retirement: The Mental Health Myth

Footballers In Retirement: The Mental Health Myth

Footballers In Retirement: The Mental Health Myth It is commonly perceived that when footballers retire their lives begin a downward trajectory. From childhood up until their mid to late 30s, they have had just one objective: play football. Without such a distinct...

More Podcasts

When stress takes hold our bodies keep the score

When stress takes hold our bodies keep the score

In this Episode Daryl Woodhouse is becoming a leading authority in wellbeing and mental health in the workplace, and how that translates into business success. Here he talks candidly about trying to change attitudes in organisations, and his own mental health battles...

The Zone founder Fiona Bugler’s story

The Zone founder Fiona Bugler’s story

In this Episode Fiona Bugler is the founder and editor of The Zone, a new magazine that focuses on wellbeing in the workplace. Here she talks to Richard Lenton about her new venture, her passion for endurance running and how it’s so important to her own mental...

Mindset & Mental Health In Schools

Mindset & Mental Health In Schools

In this Episode Richard Lenton chats to Steve Sallis – founder of Solutions Mindset and former school vice-principal – about mindset, emotional intelligence, and why mental health should be taught in schools