Currently, Washingtonians are to stay at home- except for essential activities like grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments.
All public and private social, spiritual and recreational gatherings are banned.
All non-essential businesses are closed.
Of course, these safety measures are in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but they can also cause anxiety and panic for many. The key is to stay calm and be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new normal.
Social Isolation vs. Social Distancing
Loneliness and social isolation often go hand-in-hand. In many cases, social isolation can affect one’s quality of life. In fact, isolation can have adverse health consequences including depression, sleeping disorders, and cognitive decline. Now, in the rise of COVID-19, we’re learning about a similar term that’s all over the news- “social distancing”.
By definition, social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.
And, in the case of COVD-19, the CDC has recommendations to be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that safe social distancing doesn’t inevitably lead to loneliness. Practicing safe social distancing without creating a loneliness epidemic doesn’t have to be difficult.
Thanks to advanced technologies of our time, we’re able to connect with loved ones at our fingertips.
Here are a few ways you can combat loneliness during the COVID-19 regulations:
- Engage in meaningful interactions that can spark joy
- Read a book
- Practice mindfulness by meditating to enjoy the moment at hand
- Cook a meal or bake
- Slow down to enjoy the little things in your life
- Go for a walk outdoors
- Call an old friend or mail a hand-written card to someone you love
The list of safe social distancing activities goes on and on….
Dealing With Depression During COVID-19
Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, and other common mental illnesses can be triggered or worsened by these uncertain times. This is why our Psychiatry Northwest and TMS Washington teams are here and available to help our community navigate these unprecedented times.
Lastly, please remember that mental health is an essential part of wellbeing. We offer Telepsychiatry as a safe and convenient approach to achieve mental wellness.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or any other mental illness, don’t hesitate to give our office a call. We’re here to walk with you through these times of uncertainty and help you find the way to wellness.
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