After two years of social restrictions due to the covid pandemic, more and more people deal with feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression.
The covid outbreak had a massive impact on our social life. Whether we’re social distancing or staying home, here is how we can overcome social isolation.
1. Where to find meaningful connections
As human beings, we naturally look for connections with others, but some situations in our life can make us feel isolated and disconnected, leading to psychological and physical problems.
Take your time to understand who you are and what is important to you, and feel free to express yourself with people who know what you’re going through. You could find deep connections and support on these platforms:
1. Improspeak: Talk to People Who Understand You
Improspeak is an original app where you can talk and share your thoughts in a community of like-minded people.
All you need is a webcam and a microphone, and Improspeak will match you with someone based on your shared interests, then the conversation can start.
If you don’t know what to say or struggle to find topics to talk about, Improspeak gives you question cards that you can use to keep the conversation going or explore different topics.
A unique aspect of Improspeak is its way to keep moderation: after each chat, you will be able to rate your conversation buddy. This system keeps away pervs and bullies from the community.
So if you want to overcome social isolation while having meaningful conversations with interesting people, Improspeak is the perfect solution for you. Oh and, by the way, it’s free.
2. Online forums: build your own community
For every interest, there’s a forum online. You can search for a specific topic, and you’ll be surprised by the number of people willing to help you out or simply talk about similar situations.
The most known platforms that work as a forum are Quora or Reddit, but there are several places to share your thoughts and find supporting people online.
Find the community that fits you best and start conversations!
3. Paltalk: be yourself anonymously
Paltalk is an app that allows you to enter live chatting rooms about a broad range of subjects, from animals to mental health.
You can go with the flow and pick a random room with a topic you’re interested in, or you can create a group and host your room about anything you want to discuss.
If you’re camera-shy, Paltalk provides a wide range of filters and video effects to help you share your feelings and experiences anonymously!
2. Discover what you’re passionate about
This social isolation can be a chance to discover your passions and talents. If you think you don’t have one, it just means you still haven’t found out what it is!
Without trying new things, we never know whether they can be our secret talent or a deep passion. So get creative!
Sign up for new online classes, learn a second language, work on your career improvement, plan your next trip and get yourself into exciting activities; you may also find new friends and deep connections to overcome loneliness.
How can you use this time by yourself to make some change? What areas of your life should you work on?
Another great option to consider is volunteering for your community.
Find out local associations that provide service to the community and choose the one that aligns with your values and needs.
Not only will you feel less lonely, but you will also help others do the same!
3. Cherish special people in your life
Feelings of loneliness can make us feel judged or misunderstood, so we isolate ourselves even more to avoid negative emotions. However, these feelings are often just a product of our negative state of mind and don’t match people’s opinions of us.
We can’t read people’s minds! That’s just a psychological bias that keeps you feeling bad and staying in your comfort zone, you shouldn’t listen to it.
Try to reflect upon your friendships and relationships with others, and focus on how they make you feel after spending time with them.
Some people may make you feel bad and drained after you meet them, and in that case, you should consider limiting your time or setting some boundaries with them.
On the other hand, there are relationships with people that brighten up your mood or make you feel valid and appreciated, so you should spend more time with them!
Step by step, set up a coffee date, make a call, organise a dinner or simply check on them. Maybe they’re going through the same feelings as you, have a meaningful talk about how you feel and reconnect.
4. Learn How to Take Care of Yourself
A famous saying goes: “if you enjoy your own company you’ll never be alone”, and it cannot be more accurate. You will always live with yourself, so it’s better to learn how to appreciate your own company!
Think about what you need physically and mentally and start doing little things for yourself every day.
You could do something simple like reading a book before you go to sleep, taking a warm bubble bath, cooking your favourite dish by yourself or whatever brings you joy.
Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on massages or expensive treats; it simply means nurturing yourself by doing what gives you pleasure and is good for your mind and body.
It might surprise you how you can learn to enjoy and value your own company!
5. Detox from Social Media Superficiality
Excessive use of social media is related to negative feelings like loneliness, inadequacy, anxiety and depression.
We are constantly exposed to others’ content about their life. Still, we should remember that the perfect pictures we see on social media are accurately constructed and selected, sharpened and modified to look like that.
People only show what they decide to reveal about their life, but we assume they’re happier, richer, prettier, smarter than us just by looking at their profile.
We should stop and ask if that social media is making us feel bad about ourselves and consider limiting our use or avoiding certain pages.
Furthermore, some pages and creators try to demystify social media fakeness by showing the reality behind perfect pictures. An example is beauty.false on Instagram, or pages that help you navigate negative feelings and overcome loneliness or anxiety.
6. Adopt a Pet to Change Your Life
If you have the space, time and money to welcome a pet in your home and life, consider adopting one.
Scientific studies demonstrate that living with a pet helps reduce stress, blood pressure and cardiac risks, other than significantly improving mental health.
Think about which pet you would prefer to have with you and look for animal shelters in your town. There are a lot of pets that feel lonely and need a forever home. You may save an animal’s life by adopting it!
7. Rediscover your natural side
As we said that having pets is beneficial to your health, spending some time in nature has the same effects.
It can make you feel connected to the world, and put things in perspective: you are not alone. You are part of this ecosystem like everyone else around you. A walk in a park can have relaxing effects and improve your mental and physical health.
You could think of exercising in a park and consider taking outside activities like yoga or cycling classes. That way, you would also meet new people and share fun experiences with them!
There is a professional treatment called ecotherapy which involves doing activities in nature combined with physical activity and social contacts. It has been shown to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Being outside in natural light can be helpful if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called seasonal depression, that affects people during darker and colder seasons or times of the year.
If you can’t go out in nature, bring nature to your house!
Activities like gardening or growing plants can teach you how to cherish these moments, and by taking care of them, you learn to take care of yourself too.
8. Improve Your Mood by Working on Your Body
Let’s get physical!
Physical activity not only benefits your body but also your mind. There is a significant correlation between our mood and moderate exercise, especially with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Exercise also alleviates symptoms like low self-esteem and social withdrawal. The activation of your body and the exercise-induced blood circulation increasing has an important correlation with motivation, mood and memory.
There are many exercises you can do from your home, from yoga to high-intensity workouts, you just have to start.
It only takes 30 minutes a day to improve your body and mind!
9. Find Professional Help and Start Getting Better
If this social isolation makes you feel bad, you should know that you are not alone.
We often think we can get through things by ourselves, that we are not struggling enough to get help, or that other people have it worse than us.
But you don’t need it to be bad to ask for help, and you deserve to get help as much as other people because everybody struggles sometimes, and nobody has to keep feeling like this.
You wouldn’t say: “you don’t deserve happiness; some people are happier than you”, so thinking you don’t deserve help when you’re not ok because someone has it worse is pretty much the same.
Why should you stay feeling bad? It doesn’t have to be this way, and you can get better.
If you’re considering seeing a therapist, you can look up different therapy specialists based on your needs and find a therapist near you.
We’ve seen the development of several online therapy services during the pandemic because of social distancing that may help you if you don’t want to move from home or you’re in another city.
Choose what is best for your needs and start getting better!
These are the best tips to overcome social isolation, be patient with yourself and remember that this feeling is absolutely normal!
Whether you’re feeling isolated because of a specific situation in your life or without an apparent reason, don’t panic and start feeling better with these simple steps. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and take care of yourself!