- August 31, 2021
- Posted by: slee
- Category: Employers, Insurers, Mental health, Suicide prevention, Workers
The social disconnection that comes with lockdown is challenging for everyone, but it can be especially difficult if you’re recovering from a mental health condition. Research shows that social isolation and loneliness can significantly impact mental and physical health, and if you are already managing a mental health condition, you may be more vulnerable to these effects. Taking intentional and effortful steps to stay connected during lockdown will help to ensure your recovery and wellbeing stays on track, even during unpredictable and challenging times.
Here are some strategies you can implement right now to stay connected and combat feelings of loneliness during lockdown:
Establish your support network
Take some time to consider your support network. Who could you call on right now if you needed support? Make a list of the people in your network who you could ask for help. This might include close personal contacts, such as family members or friends, but it can also include your Psychologist, GP, or Rehab Consultant. Having that list on-hand can help to remind you of the people in your life who you can rely on or reach out to. And be sure to check in with your GP, Psychologist or Rehab Consultant if you’re feeling unwell or you notice any changes with your psychological symptoms.
Schedule regular social contact
The uncertainty and turbulence of the health pandemic goes against our natural human biology. As humans, we are creatures of habit, we thrive in routine, security, and predictability. During lockdown, we can create routine by scheduling catchups (phone/ Facetime) with friends and family member. Make these calls a regular occurrence, so you have a something to look forward to. You can organise Games Night each Friday night or a virtual a coffee catchup with a fiend on a Saturday morning.
More talking, less texting
Research indicates that speaking on the phone or via video call improves our sense of connectedness more than texting or messaging. Whilst text messages, social media comments and ‘likes’ give us a hit of dopamine and instant gratification, hearing the voice and seeing the face of a loved one releases oxytocin which is the neurotransmitter which promotes empathy, trust and bonding in relationships.
Quality over quantity
Close, meaningful relationships are a basic human need, but we only have the emotional capacity to maintain a handful of truly connected, fulfilling relationships. That’s why someone can have hundreds of friends on social media and still feel completely alone. Rather than spending time interacting with a huge network of people, devote your time to nurturing a few close relationships. During lockdown, stay in regular contact with your closest friends and family members and avoid spending time interacting with a huge network of people online.
Maintain basic wellbeing strategies
Our wellbeing is fluid and it fluctuates across the wellbeing continuum throughout the day, to remain psychologically well during these times, your wellbeing strategies must be effortful, conscious and intentional. It is recommended that you maintain a daily routine and engage in self-care strategies every day. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day, showering each day, getting out of your pj’s and brushing your teeth is so important. Scheduling time to complete wellbeing activity, such as a guided mindfulness session, deep breathing, or even just going for a walk outside each day will support you to maintain optimal psychological function during lockdown.
It’s easy to lose motivation when you’re at home every day, these wellbeing and self-care strategies and will help to maintain your momentum as well as give you more energy for social connection and recovery.
Reach out for support
If you find that your wellbeing is being impacted by isolation or loneliness during this lockdown period, take action early and reach out for support. Your Resilia Rehabilitation Consultant is available to provide you with support to keep your self-care and recovery on track during this difficult time.
The Resilience Box – Lockdown 2.0 Edition
Resilia is the industry leader of workplace wellbeing and psychological injury recovery and in response to the current COVID19 outbreak in NSW and the tightening of lockdown restrictions, Resilia has launched The Resilience Box Special Edition – Lockdown 2.0. Resilia has developed a specialised psychological enhancement program, which is a modified version of our Resilience Box® program. This practical and solution focused coaching recovery program assists workers to enhance their personal wellbeing and capabilities during this time, as well as maintain momentum with their recovery, despite the lockdown. Click here for more information or go to www.resilia.com.au