While we have hope for the resiliency of people and faith that we will make it through the craziness of 2020, this year has been bonkers. And it's not over.
Certainly, there are some major challenges that we are all faced with right now. Chief among them, loneliness. Or if you're a single parent, maybe it's an odd mix of no alone time ever coupled with loneliness.
Here are our 6 best tips for coping with pandemic-induced loneliness.
Schedule regular Zoom dates or socially distanced backyard picnics. Whatever form of gathering is within your comfort level, make sure to see people on the regular. Aim for one social gathering per week and a few social connections via messaging per day. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your girlfriends who you haven’t seen in forever.
Take note of what you’re bringing to the party. If you’re dating, it’s fair to say that you’ve had to undergo a major transition in how you approach starting a relationship. Since most initial dating is happening over video chat now before in-person meetings, for many people this means getting to know someone on a deeper level before making a physical commitment. Use your remote interactions as an opportunity to reflect back on what you bring to the table in each conversation. Are you people-pleasing? Shifting what you would normally say or do because you want to be liked? Holding back successes you’ve experienced because you’re worried about how they’ll react? Take note of how you feel you need to interact in each situation and ask yourself why. Is it the person? Or is it you? What do you want interactions with a future partner to look like?
Plan a future trip. Research shows that people are happiest when they are planning a trip. In fact, social scientists have found that people are happier when they are planning their vacation than they are when actually on vacation. We might not know when we can travel safely and ‘normally’ again, but we do know that short-term happiness can be found planning a fun, future trip to a dream destination.
Use snail mail. Send a letter or postcard once a week to someone you care about. Putting a smile on their face will ultimately give you the warm fuzzies and maybe even a response in your own mailbox. Plus, what better time to support the USPS?
Treat your body right. Move your body, eat healthily, and prioritize your sleep. Negative feelings have a way of taking over and blowing things out of proportion when our bodies are stagnate, tired, and over-sugared.
Connect on social media...kind of. Connecting on social media has its pros and cons. Cons if your feed is full of content that encourages doom-scrolling til the wee hours. Pros if it provides you a community of others you are connected and safe with. This is what we aim for in our Resilient Rebound Facebook Group - a shame and judgment-free zone. Come join us and share your best tips for coping with loneliness and commiserate on the current state of dating.
Our last tip, which is more of an encouragement, is to reach out for the support you need. This time is hard for everyone in different ways and we're only going to get through it if we go together.