These isolation times are difficult, especially for those of us who aren’t used to being home all the time. While it’s OK to be worried, as our Caya, Slidebean’s CEO said, all that we know for sure is that we need to take care of ourselves and those around us. Therefore, we’re listing a set of advice on effective ways to beat social isolation.
Let these help stay in touch with the ones we love and also keep us sane during this trialing health crisis of the coronavirus. We hope you can make the best of them!
How loneliness can inevitably make us feel
Loneliness can be overwhelming. And it helps to know that it can naturally cause humans to lose focus. Mental health struggles are real and valid as isolation can make us feel unproductive, for example. Yet, it can also lead us to burnout from so much work to keep ourselves distracted and productive.
All of the above consequences can be hard to overcome by ourselves. Yet, it can be hopeful to know that effective ways to beat social isolation exist, and they help us connect with ourselves and with each other. These words might sound too much on the social spectrum for some, we’re sure. Maybe for some people, this is the typical reasoning of a more hippie stereotype of a community-oriented human being. If that’s by any means going through your experience, please trust we get that.
However, feeling isolated at times of entire countries going on lockdown is a human derivation out of our current worldwide reality. Try not to judge that, but connect to how you feel as much as possible. Word on the psychological end of matters is that feelings can lead to lots of personal and collective wisdom.
Isolation goes beyond mental to physical needs
Some might require convincing about the mental impact of staying at home or being isolated for an extended period can have on the psyche. If that’s your case, maybe reading up on scientific articles can stir your imagination. Others, on the contrary, might grasp that from experience or by simple absorption through learning. Wherever you stand on that, please also add possible physical implications to the isolation mix.
To expand on the above, know we can be feeling tired, having issues with the way our appetite is working, and many other physical symptoms can also appear. You can avoid or postpone tons of that, though! Dig deeper into these pieces of advice to ensure a healthy balance during this pandemic.
Measures we can take to improve health
Depending on what your Ministry of Health and other regulatory institutions have said for your area, try to go out every so often (every other day, for example) where possible. The former applies if you live near very isolated areas in the woods and can take a nice soothing walk for deep breaths or a quick run. Some countries allow going out in not so crowded areas, and others even permit rapid strides to bookstores, as is the case of Belgium, for example.
For countries with stricter bans on their citizens, go back to that fitness app that you’ve long ignored on your cell phone screen. Or hold on to your active use of it if you’re on that physical path for a while.
For athletes, abs and muscle work, along with exercises to strengthen and improve their technique, are on their daily menu instead of the MTB course or any other possibility at doing outdoor sports.
Tons of teachers are giving free classes online to keep their communities physically active, whether for a fee or mostly for free. Take yoga instructors as an example. And meditation and other activities for mindfulness and still bodies are also available with a Google search or a click if moving around is not so much your forte.
There’s also room for millions of creative input here. You can also make the best of that. Especially if you’re privileged enough to live with more people, you can start creating new physical dynamics together as a way of bonding or being playful. Work on your burpees every time you open your kitchen door, for example. Or collect the times and put the dare in a few set times a day. Do whatever works for you! Not what fits the mold. Yet, remember how sharing challenges or creating innovative exercise-driven activities with your friends and family can indeed be a saver for you and your community during times like these.
Also, maybe you already saw the impact ramping up your social networking via Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, or so many other messaging apps! People are coming up with all sorts of time-spending activities or sharing links and videos and plenty of different resources to keep one’s mind and body occupied. Jump on those you like most or look for new challenges to which you connect better!
Slidebean created a free, 24/7 community on Discord, called Startup Café, where founders gather to unwind and discuss. You may want to consider joining!
The general idea here is to take on strategies to keep yourself (and your family) sane and physically healthy. Plus, exercising produces endorphins, which activate the body’s opiate receptors - and these hormones make us happy.
Be compassionate - especially with the self
A crucial aspect to remember during COVID-19 is to be compassionate with ourselves. We need to allow whatever feelings we’re having to manifest and remember that those won’t last forever. It’s OK to feel sad, tired, or angry. And it’s perfectly normal for us not to understand them, even. So, know it’s beautiful and healthy to take a minute and sit with those feelings for a while when they arise. Give them space, and then try to move on to something else.
Often, we try so hard to ignore our feelings that we end up having a much bigger crisis in the long run. Instead of battling and ignoring those feelings, we can sit with them for a little while and then look for ways to overcome them when we feel we’re ready for that.
Pick up a hobby!
Now’s the perfect time to finally start learning how to play that musical instrument you wanted to play for a long time! Or crochet, learn a new language, get into urban, indoor, or outdoor gardening or reading up on philosophy! Another one of the effective ways to beat social isolation has to do with learning a new hobby.
Again, technology is a great tool we have nowadays. So many apps and online websites or resources can help check that item on your long-standing to-do list! Make the best of your spare time indoors; it’s finally here for you.
Are you worried about the equipment you need? Let’s thank the plethora of delivery systems that are striving to keep healthy and a running economy these days. Support these businesses while you get deliveries at your doorstep. There are big chances you can still get the tools you need within hours or a few days.
Get help when needed
Despite what we mentioned this far, asking for professional help is valid. It’s very real, and it can be necessary for anyone. Battling or coping with mental distress and a lack of wellbeing all alone doesn’t make anyone better or stronger. Yet, if you can avoid that and get professional help, diminish any doubt about seeking out for assistance, especially if a part of you knows it will make you feel better. Many mental health professionals are jumping up to the platter during these times precisely because of these reasons. And they’re giving online or over the phone sessions. Do what’s right for you as you consider others around you! We know you can make it!
If you’re still at work…
If hustling or WFH has become your default mode, try and find tools and apps that let you collaborate and engage better with your co-founders and your team. Many of them are offering free unlimited features or even expanded their benefits to paid customers. Slidebean, in particular, already has cool collaboration features you can explore and has added the extra-user feature for free, until further notice! Of course, our team is there to help you with your pitch-deck or presentation design if you need more personalized assistance.
Freelance and Remote Web Content Writer is the current hat under which Ang keeps on the global move. Writing blogs, website content and (especially) Facebook ads for diverse small businesses, entrepreneurs and international parties is part of the common work under Ang's belt. Otherwise, you'll see Ang riding a motorcycle on their vegan way out of theater rehearsal.