Social isolation is unhealthy for us human beings. I am not talking about the chosen isolation when people make a decision to be in seclusion for their own wellbeing.
The isolation I’m addressing is the involuntary state that so many of us are in at the moment. Especially people who live alone and don’t get any interaction with people around the table, in front of the TV or just everyday chit chatting at home.
I’ve been at home since February and not travelled at all. Here in Spain we went through a long lock down, one of the strictest in the world. We were only allowed to go to the grocery store and the pharmacy. Now we can move around semi-freely, but with a curfew at night and not leaving the province.
Normally I am a sound sleeper. I’ve noticed lately that my sleep is not what it should be.
I am more irritable and have a shorter fuse when it comes to emotions. I’m feeling that I am more emotionally vulnerable than normal.
It is also easier for me to get stuck in cognitive traps which takes a lot of energy and restructuring of thoughts to get out of.
Since I’m a professional in the field, I see that my knowledge does not make me immune to these reactions. I’m just fortunate enough to know how to not let them take over or control me.
Other common traps for people in isolation which I have not experienced myself, but they are common:
• Letting go of the home. Clutter and not keeping things clean.
• Inactivity and lack of physical activity
• Overeating or a huge increase of junk food.
• Increase of intake of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other substances.
• Internet addiction and inability to control screen time.
• Gambling on line
• Online sex and pornography consumption that is out of control
• Depression, anxiety, hopelessness and despair
Why am I listing all this?
I think it is important to realize that this is in fact what we are vulnerable to during isolation.
I also believe that we need to see these vulnerabilities as normal. There is nothing wrong with us for having normal reactions to unnatural isolation.
We need to talk about these things with each other.
The nature of the beast when it comes to isolation is that we don’t share with others how we are feeling and what we are dealing with.
Let’s talk about it. Support each other. We don’t want to get sucked into the destructive vacuum of isolation.
TOGETHER we can beat this.
Have a brilliant day!