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13 ways to stay connected

After weeks of isolation (wait, which day is it today?) The four walls of your room may be causing the waves of fear and depression to burst in. The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us in a "cabin" fever situation.

Did isolation come to your mind? It is perfectly reasonable to feel anxious or depressed when you are separated from your family members, friends, and coworkers. After all, people are social beings.

Anxiety symptoms can also increase due to the widespread uncertainty of the new corona virus and our lack of control over the situation.

If you think you're dealing with isolation anxiety or depression, you'll find everything you need to know about treatment and connection at this strange time.

Isolation anxiety has symptoms similar to generalized anxiety disorder, but is activated by a lack of social interaction. Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation are both linked to early death. Social isolation is also linked to health problems such as depression, sleep disorders and immune system changes.

Most studies on isolation anxiety (and depression) have focused on older adults, since older people tend to live in isolation. (Call your grandma!) However, during the COVID-1

9 outbreak, more people than ever practice self-isolation by following physical distance and quarantine protocols.

The symptoms of anxiety due to isolation include:

  • sleep disorders or sleep disorders
  • persistent irritability
  • uncontrollable feelings of concern
  • muscle tension or soreness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Randomness [feeling uneasy]
  • 19659015] Although it's a different disease, fear is often associated with depression (with or without isolation).

    As with anxiety, research shows that a lack of social interaction can increase the risk of depression. Perceived isolation – the feeling of being isolated even when you are not – can also lead to depression.

    Symptoms of depression due to isolation can include:

    • constant sad, anxious or "empty" mood feelings
    • of hopelessness or worthlessness
    • loss of interest or pleasure in activities
    • fatigue or lack of energy
    • restlessness
    • changes in appetite and / or weight
    • problems with concentration, memory or decision-making
    • ] physical pain
    • headache
    • unexplained digestive problems
    • thoughts or suicide attempts 19659015 ] The good news is that we live in the 21st century and have the technology to help us stay connected (and it's easier than ever). Here are some ways to deal with isolation-related anxiety and depression.

Although studies show that there is a connection between the use of social media and the occurrence of depression and loneliness, social media and communication tools can also enable meaningful interactions.

Instead of thoughtlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, address people you really care about. Video calls via FaceTime or Zoom can create a feeling of intimate conversion even though you are physically distant from each other.

Studies have shown that staying in nature improves mental health and cognitive functions. If it is not possible to go outside, you can try to bring nature into the house by growing herbs or plants, opening your windows or planting fresh flowers in your living space.

Maintaining a daily routine is one of the best ways to get a feeling of control over nature. Routines can add meaning and structure to your day and distract your mind.

This doesn't mean you have to be very productive and do everything on your to-do list. But a certain structure in your day – waking up, eating three meals at a time, and exercising consistently – can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

You don't have to attend every zoom happy hour you're invited to, especially if you only do it because of FOMO.

Do something because you actually want it. It's okay to skip this zoom party to take a breath or enjoy the evening solo. Taking breaks and prioritizing your needs are ways to take care of yourself! Listen to your favorite podcast or take a relaxing bath or shower.

If you are lucky enough to have a pet, this is a good time to rely on her as a companion. A little physical touch can raise your dopamine and serotonin levels, hormones that improve your mood and relieve stress.

If you have a dog that needs to walk, this is a good excuse to get your daily dose of fresh air.

Through training, your brain releases endorphins, neurochemicals that improve your mood. These endorphins can lead to a feeling of euphoria (which some call "Runner & # 39; s High"). Exercise also burns the stress hormone cortisol. Your cortisol level rises when you are stressed, which can cause anxiety.

Even if you can't run or walk, there are a lot of exercises you can do at home! If you're looking for a sense of community in your fitness program, many gyms and gyms offer live online workouts.

Be gentle with yourself and remember that not every moment of your day has to be planned. Find out about your emotional and mental states and let yourself feel what you feel. Remember to take a deep breath and rest and relax.

If you remain in isolation, meditation can help you find a sense of calm. Meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace are easily accessible from home and can guide you through various meditations and techniques to help you relax.

A common misconception about meditation is that you have to remain completely calm and still for a certain amount of time. But there are actually a lot of ways you can convey, for example by walking or listening carefully to music.

According to a study from 2017, yoga is associated with better regulation of the sympathetic nervous system (ie physical symptoms) and associated with anxiety such as increased heart rate and chronic illness.

When you work from home, you are likely to spend a lot of time sitting. Yoga is a great way to do a quick workout that can give you an energy boost (especially if this second cup of coffee doesn't help).

Since we live in a digital age, all types of information are readily available (whether we like it or not). There comes a time when staying informed can be harmful rather than helpful.

Too much phone or news can affect your mood. Reduce your device usage and disconnect from the 24-hour message cycle to find a sense of calm. (You don't need to know everything about murder hornets now!)

You may not be in control of everything in life, but at least you can control how much content and news you expose yourself to.

Do you remember family game nights? Playing games is a great way to interact socially. If you're living with a partner, family, or roommates, turn off the show you've been watching continuously and connect through a friendly scramble contest.

If you live alone, you can regain the fun of personal interactions with your friends or family through Zoom. With time and creativity, almost any board game or party game can be played via video conference.

A study of people with depression in 2018 even found that playing action video games can help reduce the persistent negative thoughts associated with depression.

Growing houseplants has a huge impact on your mental well-being. Houseplants bring part of nature into your living space, which is especially helpful if your time outdoors is limited or restricted.

Studies have shown that even tiny doses of nature can have a lasting impact on our happiness and well-being in our daily lives. One study found that people who did planting tasks felt calmer, more comfortable, and more relaxed than people who did technical tasks.

Especially when you live alone, plants can give you a sense of camaraderie that doesn't require conversation (remember to water them!).

It's okay to be out of order and look for help when you think you need it.

If you feel that your symptoms are having an unmanageable impact on your daily life, speak to a psychiatrist. If you don't have a therapist, you can contact your family doctor for recommendations.

Many therapists now offer services via video chat or phone because personal appointments may not be possible. For a cheaper option, try a mental health app.

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