The social distancing stemming from the anti-Covid-19 measures has challenged us all. Humans are social beings. We crave communication, affection and positive interactions with others. In the absence of enjoyable contact, our mental health could start to suffer.

Mental health professionals have noted a pronounced tendency for mental health decline among some individuals as a result of the isolation. Are you one of these people and do you wonder about the effects of social distancing? Are you thinking about strategies to ensure your mental health while the quarantine lasts? Let’s check out what’s going on right now and what are some of the best ways to handle the current situation.

The Link Between Social Distancing and Mental Health Problems

Mental health experts believe that the forced social distancing resulting from the coronavirus situation can have a negative mental health effect on some individuals.

Any kind of isolation, whether self-imposed or determined by medical reasons, can contribute to high levels of stress. Hence, both adults, children and especially the elderly, can be anticipated to go through somewhat of a traumatic experience.

The Covid-19 situation has forced many governments across the globe shut down schools and introduce distance learning, get people working from home and limiting their walks outside. In some of the cases, a nearly full lockdown mode has been initiated.

Being quarantined this way contributes to a loss of autonomy that will undoubtedly affect mental health. People feel out of control and out of touch with the rest of the world. As a result, individuals going through quarantine or another type of isolation have been known to develop issues like insomnia, PTSD (especially among children), trauma experiences and even depression.

The situation is especially difficult for those who live alone. Cut off from their co-workers, relatives and friends, such individuals are likely to succumb to extreme loneliness and depression in the event of a prolonged isolation period.

Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health During Social Distancing

If you feel that social distancing is already taking a toll on you, there are several things to do in an attempt to restore the sense of normalcy.

Maintain a Routine

Maintaining a routine, even if you’re spending all of your time at home, is one of the biggest essentials.

Get up in the morning and get dressed. Don’t spend your entire day in your pyjamas. Allocate a certain number of hours to work but do not forget to enjoy a lunch break. When you’re done with work, engage in something empowering or enriching. You can exercise at home, read a good book, watch the movie you’ve long wanted to see or even learn a new skill. If you have a good schedule that gives you positive experiences, chances are that you’ll feel less lonely and helpless.

Avoid News and Social Media

Another good strategy would be to stop reading the news or social media content.

Learning about the new death cases and the ongoing infection rate isn’t going to benefit you, especially if you feel vulnerable already. Hence, turn off the notifications for the news websites you follow and unplug from social media for a day or two. If you’re not being bombarded with negative news and stressful messages, you will potentially feel a lot more at ease.

While these are the two biggest essentials, you can improve your mental health during social distancing in a couple of additional ways.

You can stay socially engaged and contemporary technology allows you to keep in touch with the people you live. Scheduling a quick video chat with relatives or a wine evening with your girlfriends will bring down the distance and help you experience the sense of connection that you so crave.

There are also numerous concerts, theatre plays and other cultural events you can watch online to retain a degree of normalcy while you cannot go out.

Keep Occupied

A final thing that you need to address is the anxiety linked to the risk of getting sick.

Keeping yourself distracted and having your mind constantly occupied is one of the best ways to keep yourself from fixating on your health. Mindfulness and meditation are two other essentials to try if you’re constantly worrying about succumbing to a viral infection.

It’s ok to feel sad and lonely. It’s also ok to feel scared. After all, your entire life has been turned into something quite different from before. It’s not possible to interact with others like before, it’s not possible to travel and accumulate new real-world experiences. In a sense, we are all grieving for the things that we’re missing from our lives. A certain amount of time will be required for adaptation so don’t push yourself too hard.

If the worry and anxiety persist and they’re having a very profound effect on your quality of life, you will need to get in touch with your psychiatrist or your therapist in Singapore. A quick session over the phone can help you address some of the biggest issues that aren’t letting you experience peace and comfort at the time being.

This is especially important for people already diagnosed with a mental health problem or who are at a risk of developing depression. Don’t be afraid to check in with your therapist as often as you need to. The importance of self-care should not be underestimated at a time like this.

The clinicians at Adelphi Psych Medicine mental health clinic are available to help you through this difficult and potentially distressing period. Negative emotions that continue for long periods of time or that intensify shouldn’t be ignored. Contact us right now to let us know what you’re struggling with and to seek professional assistance.