Is anyone out there feeling … (wait for it) … ISOLATED?

Today I want to talk about how isolation affects us, and what we can do about it. Obviously humans are social creatures, so quarantining, self isolation, social isolation, avoiding other humans affects us negatively. There are some of us that have personality traits where we enjoy quiet and alone time more than others and those people will tolerate all of this better. For those of us that are very social, this situation can be difficult and lead to some difficult issues.

One thing I encourage against is falling into the trap of social media, TV, video games all day every day. This goes especially for the kids. There are definite dopamine affects from all these entities. That’s the neurotransmitter that causes addiction. I dont think any of you are unaware of this. We have to make the conscious choice to turn those things off. Especially if we are stuck at home during this time.

Once you make that decision, what do we fill up the hours with? Well it’s very important to get some physical activity in. Go for a walk, do a workout, meditate, yard work, house work. Anything that gets you up and moving. Remember, we are social distancing from other humans. There’s no reason not to go outside. Get some sunshine.

Another thing is MAKING time for some human connections. This is very easy with technology these days. Facetime, zoom, etc. Interact with the family and friends. It’s not as good as getting together but it’s better than nothing.

My family is still interacting with others WITH APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS. My wife and I sat in our culdesac with two other neighbors all spread out for an evening. We had to raise our voice to talk over the distance but that wasnt an issue. My freshman in high school is feeling isolated and lonely. We are going to arrange a play date with her friend at the neighborhood park where they are going to sit far apart and talk and laugh, play on their phones … the same thing they would do if they were in the bedroom for a sleepover together.

Ultimately I think it’s important for us all to manage the risks of infection, social isolation with the benefits of APPROPRIATE interactions while following the safety rules to prevent the spread of the virus. So be creative. If you arent sure something is safe to do, then ask your doc.

Thanks for reading.

Dr D