Dealing With Depression In Isolation
We evolved to be social animals and developed to function in groups. Currently, we can’t be physically present with anyone beyond our household due to shelter-in-place. For those who live alone or are under quarantine set apart from the rest of the household, this is especially challenging. We all crave some human contact. Isolation can lead to depression because we lack an important part of what makes us human. Inversely, depression can lead to isolation, but that’s for another discussion.
So, what can you do?
1. Call someone.
You most likely have a phone. If you have a smart phone, you may think of it and use it more as a hand held computer. Now is the time to remember that you can use it to make phone calls. Call friends and family to check in with them. Hearing their voices can be comforting and can make you feel less isolated.
2. Video call someone.
You can do this with your smartphone, laptop, or tablet through various platforms including Messenger, Facetime, and Zoom. Seeing and hearing your friends and family may work even better than a voice call alone. It can trick your mind into experiencing the video call as an in-person visit.
3. Text or email someone.
Yes, even texting or emailing works. People used to send letters through the mail. Most of us don’t do that anymore. Instead we write each other though electronic means. If you don’t want to talk to someone, texting can elicit a more immediate response and can feel more like a conversation. Emailing someone is usually more like sending physical mail since there is a delay but it is still contact with the outside world.
4. Use a social app. Get on Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Kik, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. You can connect with family and friends on these various apps and you can meet new people from around the world. These can help you feel less alone.
5. Use the US Mail.
If you don’t have technology that allows you to communicate or you just don’t feel like it, write letters to friends and family. The US Postal Service is still functioning. It’s slower and doesn’t provide the same instant gratification. And, there is something to be said about having an old-fashioned pen-pal. If you can get a regular pen-pal, you have something to look forward to when you pick up your mail instead of the regular junk mail we all receive.
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