When these kinds of feelings last for long periods of time, people can start to feel downright depressed, which is the last thing that anyone needs to be feeling when we are already in the midst of a pandemic. It's all stressful, worrying and uncomfortable enough thanks, no one needs to be feeling depressed on top of it all and that's why maintaining human connection is more important than ever as we navigate these difficult times.
Here are some sure fire ways to make sure that you are staying connected with the world whilst also maintaining a sense of inner peace of harmony.
Adapt: Try to keep doing as many of the things that you were doing before COVID-19 hit, just adapt them. Workout online instead of at the gym, go for long walks or ride your bike in nature as a form of exercise, schedule your eating times to happen at the same time as a friend so that you're still socialising, have movie nights with small groups in your home instead of going to the cinema. Get creative with how you can socialise in small groups in your own home eg. have themed dinner party nights, trivia nights, movie nights, cooking classes, game nights or home spa treatments. These will give you something to look forward to and keep you socialising in small groups in safe spaces.
Touch: Touch is such a rich source of affirmation, security and safety and many of us not only crave it but actually need it. This is probably one of the toughest things for single people to combat during a pandemic, because you just can't go around hugging everyone when you run the possibility of either contracting or passing along a deadly virus, not to mention it's really just generally not okay. In order to counterbalance the loss of the comfort that comes from hugs and physical closeness psychologists recommend a daily call to someone in the form of a Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Meets app situation. Something face to face and regular will help to alleviate the loneliness and feelings of isolation for people that are alone, and for everyone else - well take some comfort in the fabulousness of your relationships and hug the people in your home for longer, kiss your partner more often and just fully enjoy being close to people when you can be safely.
Self talk: Focus your energies and your internal dialogue around what you can control and not on what you can't. Instead of saying to yourself 'how long will this all last for?' learn to ask yourself this important question every day:
What do I need today in order to feel satisfied, safe and connected?
Spend more time exploring your own wants, needs and requirements and less time on the 'what if's' around this whole pandemic experience. By learning to attend to your own needs, you will find more joy, a sense of inner peace and maybe even spark some interest in a new activity or hobby to fill in your free time in satisfying and self-connecting ways.
Talk It Out: If you are feeling anxious, worried or fearful, that's okay - you're not alone! You are allowed to feel those things and you should share those thoughts with others. By talking out your concerns with friends or family, whether it's face to face or over the phone you will reduce your stress levels and give people an awareness about what is going on for you. A reduction in socialisation and connection is genuinely difficult for many people and being honest about your emotions and reaching out to others will definitely build stronger connections and help to alleviate anxiety.
Get Moving: Whether you like to exercise or not is not really relevant because the science is in! And the fact of the matter is that exercising releases heaps of feel good chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, and they lift your mood, reduce your stress and they're completely free as well. You can't argue with that now can you? Exercise is a great way to meet up with friends, get some fresh air and sunshine into your system and kick off those feel good chemicals, so try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your routine a day. It may not always connect you with others, but you will definitely feel better for doing it.
Be Zen: You know that I love a good meditation, I can't even go a day without it anymore. And there are some kick arse meditation apps out there that are not only great for triggering mindfulness and calm, but are also social and free as well. Check out Insight Timer or Smiling Mind for some inner connection zen time, you won't regret it.
Release Date: 2012
Running Time: 101 mins
A comedy-romance film, written and directed by newcomer Lorene Scafaria, and set in the middle of an apocalyptic event, which seems like a rather unlikely narrative, and it is; but don't be deterred, this film works. Not just because of it's outrageously unusual plot, but mostly because of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley who do a great job to pull it all together with great charm and wit.
An asteroid is going to make contact with earth in three weeks time, and it will be the end of the world as we know it. After his wife flees at the news of impending doom, Dodge (Carell) meets Penny (Knightley) whom has also just separated from a relationship. Desperate to get home to see her family in England, Penny joins Dodge on a trip to his hometown of Delaware in the hope that someone that he knows will be able to get her there.
This was both amusing and terribly sad at the same time, as I was watching I couldn't help but wonder, what would I do if I had just received the same news? Clearly the world has gone bonkers here, as one would expect, but there is a calm calamity to all of the goings on that made this film fun and fresh, and certainly unlike any other apocalyptic movie that I have seen.
FINAL SAY: I thought that somehow we'd save each other.
3.5 Chilli Peppers