Coping with Boredom and Loneliness – COVID-19
Social isolation has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020! Suddenly, with the advent of COVID-19, life is very different due to enforced stay-at-home measures and self-isolation. For those finding it difficult to cope with the current socialising restrictions and the associated feelings of boredom and loneliness, Counselling can be of help, however, there are some steps we can all take as individuals to help get through this difficult time.
So how do we remain positive, motivated and connected in a world where staying home and avoiding contact with gatherings of family and friends is the norm for the foreseeable future? Firstly, it’s important to realise maintaining contact with family and friends is hugely important to help with feeling connected and preventing loneliness creeping into your daily life. Secondly, it’s also important to find ways to keep busy whilst self-isolating in order to feel productive and prevent boredom and negativity arising. Tips to help with these issues can be seen below.
- Make use of online technology and social media to stay in touch with friends and family. You may need to help elderly family members get set up for this. Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype are just a few examples of online video chat programs that can be used.
- Organise activities with friends and family online. For example, connect with a friend via Skype and do a yoga session together, or set up Zoom on a laptop at the end of the dinner table to have a meal with extended family members. Group activities online are a great way to remain connected and keep boredom and loneliness at bay.
- For those working from home or doing online schooling, stick to the usual work or school day routine. Set a start time, schedule meal breaks and choose the same time each day to end your school or work day. This will help you to differentiate between free time and work/school time and ensure you get through the required tasks. Routine helps you to maintain a degree of normality during difficult times.
- Bring out the board games, jigsaw puzzles, card decks, home movies etc. These are great fun and fantastic for filling in time and bringing those living under the one roof together.
- Set challenges for each other. This could be a physical challenge in the back yard, a Lego challenge, a baking or craft challenge. Anything that isn’t normally done by a person and will take them out of their comfort zone or help them to learn a new skill. It could even be a competition of some sort.
- Be community minded, check in with elderly neighbours and friends via phone calls to make sure they are okay. This will go a long way towards alleviating their feelings of loneliness and boredom and help you to feel like you are doing something worthwhile.
- Take the opportunity to do things around the house. Enforced isolation is a great opportunity to get those jobs done you have been putting off doing.
- Spend time in the garden. Not only can it be therapeutic tending to plants, it’s a great opportunity to get out in the sunshine and enjoy a nice day.
- Listen to podcasts, read books or listen to music.
- Get physical. Dance to your favourite music, create a work-out to do at home, take the dog for a walk around the local streets, go for a bike ride or maybe play handball against a brick wall.
- Do online study. Check out free courses to up-skill and learn more about areas of interest to you.
- Take up a new hobby which can be done at home. Think about all those things you might like to try and give one a go.
- Think creatively. If you like to go camping in the holidays, do it in the back yard. Set up the tent, BBQ and camp chairs and with the exception of the bathroom, pretend the house isn’t there.
Ongoing periods of isolation can bring on a variety of negative thoughts and emotions. If you are struggling to cope during the current COVID-19 crisis, contact Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400416535 or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.