Hello there, from my apartment to yours.
As of this Thursday, the United States surpassed both China and Italy to become the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. While the coronavirus continues to spread and millions of Americans self-isolate with no end in sight, many find themselves battling an inconspicuous enemy indoors: loneliness. The current practice of social distancing and sheltering in place is causing what some have termed a loneliness epidemic. As social creatures, this necessary practice can be difficult to sustain, since it prohibits us from interacting in person and holding social gatherings.
Loneliness also increases our risk for depression and anxiety, decreases our ability to respond to stress, and can weaken our immune systems, which effectively increases our susceptibility to contracting illnesses such as COVID-19. For these reasons, it’s important that we not only maintain calm and stop hoarding toilet paper and absurd amounts of perishable goods, but that we find unique ways of interacting and maintaining our social connections during these uncertain times. So, instead of panic scrolling through social media, consider listening to The Happiness Lab podcast by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos and learn how to recreate a sense of togetherness and keep calm in their Coronavirus bonus series.
Additionally, if you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress, anxiety or need assistance managing an anxiety disorder, you may find the following articles helpful:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Mental Health and Coping with COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- Helpguide: Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty
- Harvard Medical School: Coping with the coronavirus pandemic for people with anxiety disorders https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/coping-with-the-coronavirus-pandemic-for-people-with-anxiety-disorders-2020032619327
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disengagement. Rather, this unique experience is an opportunity to come together and realize that, as cliche as it sounds, we’re all in this together. Afterall, it’s during times of crisis that it’s most important to remain connected.
Edited by Sydney Wyatt
Source suggested by Yulong Liu
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