Even though some people enjoy spending time in solitude, doing it for a prolonged time can be harmful to your mental health. The latest world pandemic took us all by surprise and, to limit the spread of the virus, many countries took quarantine measures and forced people to limit their going outs.
This took a toll on people that were already living alone. They need to find time to organize their working space and keep connected with friends and families. It might prove to be a real challenge to keep your sanity while self-isolated alone. Humans are sociable beings, we need friends, we need social support and all these things help us feel good and be happy.
Being self-isolated alone can negatively affect your mental health and mild symptoms of depression can appear. You might feel hopeless and helpless. You might lose the pleasure derived from doing things you enjoy. You might feel fatigued, irritable, and have trouble concentrating or making decisions. Depression can also have physical symptoms, such as headaches, cramps, or digestive problems.
All these can be prevented, even though it may seem impossible to people who are self-isolated alone.
Here are some ways to help keep depression away.
Connect with Friends and Family
During these times of uncertainty, being away from dear friends and family might feel like a burden. You lack that social support and courage they were instilling in you to go further. Thanks to all the technological advancements, you can now do this virtually.
According to college papers on mental health topics, even virtual social support can alleviate the feelings of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness you might feel. Organize video calls with your friends and enjoy spending time together, even if it’s only virtually. Do the same with your family. Connecting with them will make you feel more positive and happier and doing this constantly will help you prevent depression.
It’s important to keep in mind that we must respect the limits imposed by the authorities and limit our meetings. But social isolation does not mean not talking with your dear ones; it’s only pausing face-to-face meetings for your own good.
Adopt a Pet
If you do not have a pet, this might be the moment you were waiting for. Many studies showed that pets are important attachment figures for their owners. People can find the companionship, love, and support they need during hard times in their pets.
Besides, having a pet means that you need to take care of it. So, you slowly direct your attention to something positive, and spending time with your pet will prove to be enlightening. It will help you stabilize your mood and increase your dopamine and serotonin levels. And these will help you prevent depression and foster positive emotions.
Start a Journal
Journaling is considered by most people something childish. But, many mental health experts recommend journaling as a coping mechanism. Journaling helps you identify your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and work on them.
It might be uncomfortable at the beginning, and it can turn out to be a painful process, but it will be interesting to look retrospectively at the things that matter the most to you. Being alone with your thoughts might seem scary, but this is a feeling you need to overcome when you first start it.
Many mental health professionals recommend practicing journaling as a way of fostering gratitude. This means that you can find three things per day you are grateful for and write them down.
Those things cannot be repeated, or not so often at least, so finding different little things you are grateful for can prevent depression. You foster positive emotions and an optimistic perspective on your life, even though at the moment it is hard to be self-isolated alone.
Exercising is known to be a natural antidote to depression, anxiety, and negative feelings and emotions. This is because any form of exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
They are considered natural painkillers and help minimize discomfort. You can choose any individual sports you want to practice, from yoga to jogging. Do it regularly and you will notice an improvement in your mood.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself means adopting healthy habits and behaviors that foster and nurture positive feelings. When having the symptoms of depression, especially when you are self-isolated alone, you might feel that no matter what you do, nothing will make you feel good or please you.
This is wrong, especially because your mind gets involved in this circle of negative thoughts. Make time for self-care and keep a schedule. This will help you focus your attention on things that matter and stay away from negative thought patterns.
Find those small things that boost your mood and start practicing them. Even though we live in unprecedented times, it doesn’t mean that you cannot find things to do while at home. Take a hot bath, read a book, watch that TV series you always wanted to see. Find time to relax and enjoy yourself.
Explore mountains and hiking trails online or attend online networking events. Learn something new and develop one of your skills or abilities.
Take a Breath, Have Hope
Depression is more and more prevalent, especially during these times of uncertainty. We all need to limit our face-to-face meetings with others, and this might take a toll on many people’s mental health. Being self-isolated alone can be challenging for some people and negative thoughts and emotions can appear. If not dealt with accordingly, they can easily transform into symptoms of depression.
To prevent depression, you need to make a schedule and include time for self-care. Reading a book, watching movies, or taking a hot bath are some of the activities that could boost your mood.
Organize video calls with your friends and families to get the support and courage you need to face these times. Exercise as much as you can and start a gratitude journal. Consider adopting a pet because it will give your life sense. With small steps every day, you can foster positive emotions and prevent depression.
Author Bio: Leon Collier is a freelance writer from the UK, who works at Bestessay.com and assignment help UK. He loves to write about everything: mental health disorders, leadership, loneliness, and social support. Leon’s hobbies are reading and playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on twitter @LeonCollier12.