Loneliness can take a significant toll on a person’s overall health. As public activities and spaces continue to be closed, these four strategies can help you maintain a healthy balance in your life…
Sticking to a routine, and doing things that help increase feel-good hormone production (serotonin) and decrease stress hormones (cortisol) are important to bear in mind while you’re in lockdown.
Your “forced” daily routine of getting up and going to work may have been interrupted but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t develop a healthy “lockdown” routine that promotes healthy habits, keeps you off the couch, and stops you from binge-eating all the chocolate in your pantry.
Here are 4 ways to reduce loneliness while in lockdown.
1. Exercise (Gardening counts!)
Loneliness can feel more intense if you’re just sitting around, feeling bored and missing your friends. Make sure that you inject some stress-busting activities into your day. Exercise is extremely important. You can find thousands of home exercise videos to give you tips on YouTube. Also head out into the garden. Not only will you get some vitamin D, you’ll also get some great exercise. Did you know there are actually antidepressant microbes in soil?!
2. Maintain your relationships using technology
Research shows that keeping in touch with loved ones, and feeling ‘loved’ has an even better effect on improving your overall health than giving up smoking. So make sure you stay in touch with your friends and family as often as possible. Zoom with them, WhatsApp video call, or just send regular messages throughout the week as an encouragement. You’ll find that they respond in a similar way – we’re all in need of a bit of human interaction these days!
Meditation and prayer are shown to improve immune functions and reduce inflammation. Never underestimate the importance of just being still. Focussing on your breathing, and calming your mind. Whether this is through prayer or meditation, try to fit in some mindfulness every day.
4. Do something for others
While the motivation behind helping someone else should necessarily be to make yourself feel better, it is a great ‘side-effect’ of being charitable. Being able to make someone else smile, or just easing the burden slightly for someone else will leave you with all the feels. While in lockdown, you can order a food delivery for someone you know is struggling during this time, or you can donate towards a charity, or simply reach out and encourage someone you love.
While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.