Years before the global pandemic drove people in doors, loneliness was an issue. In 2018, 43% of adults reported feeling isolated from others often; 27% stated not having anyone who truly understands them; and 47% indicated a lack of meaningful in-person social interactions on a daily basis (Cigna, 2018). This can be from living in physically distant locations, decreased mobility, limited access to meaningful social or professional contacts, and avoidance stemming from inexperience, a fear of abandonment, shame, or depression- resulting in social anxiety.
Today’s social distancing and working from home, as public health precaution, has only increased the feeling of isolation. As social beings, prolonged isolation can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, dementia, reduced verbal fluency, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, increased chance of chronic illness and even increased risk of premature death. But solitude does not need to equate to loneliness.
How to Fight Isolation
Develop self-soothing techniques
Explore your personal interests
Join virtual groups that share your interests
Stay physically active and have a routine
Change your scenery and go outside
Set boundaries to find work-life balance
Volunteer your time to serve your community
Leverage technology to stay socially connected