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Overcoming Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an effort to limit to spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the government recently issued a UK lockdown. This lockdown requires individuals to practise social distancing and self-isolation by staying home as much as possible, thus limiting physical contact with other people.
While these actions can help slow the spread of COVID-19, they can also have negative effects on your mental health.
What Is Loneliness?
While the words may sound alike, loneliness and being alone are not the same thing. Loneliness is a subject that has been studied for a long time in psychological literature.
Loneliness can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. According to mental health experts, loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Overcoming Loneliness During the Pandemic
If you’re feeling lonely in these uncertain times, you’re not alone. Many Britons are trying to overcome those same feelings. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to fight loneliness and maintain your mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stick to a Schedule
One of the best things that you can do to fight loneliness is to create a new normal by sticking to a schedule. For example, if you’re used to going to the gym before work, try to wake up early and get an at-home workout in before you start your workday from home. Build in times for meals and short breaks like you would for a normal workday in the office.
Maintaining as much normalcy as possible with your daily routine can help lift your mood and prevent boredom and distress from taking over. It can also help make the days feel structured.
Use Technology to Connect With Loved Ones
When in self-isolation, it can be easy to feel lonely. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it easy to connect with others without having to physically be in contact with them.
Mental health experts recommend reaching out to loved ones with technology to reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and to supplement your social life while you’re self-isolating or social distancing. If you’re feeling down, use video-calling technology or social media to get in touch with friends and family.

The following information is not exhaustive, nor does it apply to specific circumstances. The content therefore should not be regarded as medical advice and not be relied upon as such. Readers should contact a medical professional for appropriate advice.

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