Canadian American psychologist Paul Bloom is quoted as saying, “Humans are social beings, and we are happier, and better, when connected to others.”
For many of us, the truth of that statement is in the forefront of our minds during these uncertain times with COVID-19.
The National Institute of Aging has shared numerous articles about negative physical and mental health effects associated with loneliness and social isolation. Research has found these to include a higher risk for heart disease, sleep disorders, functional decline, depression, and anxiety, to name a few. Staying connected is the recommended remedy for loneliness.
Let’s explore some ways to stay connected to reduce feelings of loneliness resulting from our current need to shelter in place and practice social distancing:
- Try out or continue virtual face-to-face connections through devices with audio and visual means for communication.
- Email, text, or message with a friend or family member.
- Check into church activities and classes available online.
- Get outside to walk or sit on your porch to chat with neighbors from afar.
- Spend time with your pet and share on social media.
- Read a book to grand-kids through virtual means.
- Set up a virtual meal or watch TV with a friend through a social networking app.
- Consider virtual volunteering. You can find information online about these types of opportunities or see Create the Good, established by AARP.
- Watch trusted channels for information and updates, but not so much that it is negatively affecting sleep, which may increase feelings of loneliness.
- Reach out to discuss care management and/or caregiving services when in need of assistance. At Care Around the Block, we continue to provide essential care while using CDC recommended precautionary measures to protect you and our employees during COVID-19. See our flyer:
How have you have tried to fight against social isolation and loneliness during COVID-19? Reach out and let us know below!
Written by Elaine Wilson, LCSW, CCM, Director of Outreach at Care Around the Block. If you are caring for someone during this time, Elaine facilities a free online support group for family dementia caregivers in which you can participate from your own home. Call our office at (865)444-6787 to sign up.
For additional resources and ways to remain healthy during this time, click here for CAB’s blog website, and follow us on social media!
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