5 Things to Combat Loneliness and Depression in the Pandemic
December 31, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
As record numbers of Canadians are reporting they are depressed, sad, lonely and struggling with mental health issues it is important to recognize how you feel and to take positive steps to feel better.
Loneliness and depression are known to impact general health and can become serious risks to mental and physical health if left unmanaged.
Many of us began the lockdown in March scared and worried. Many people lost their incomes or jobs which compounded the stress, this lead to loss of housing and food insecurity for many. Even if we were not personally impacted by income loss the heightened state of panic, the line-ups for food, the fear of the unknown, and shortages of daily goods were stressful for everyone.
As the days stretched to weeks which stretched to months of lockdowns, restrictions on travel, school being out, adjustment to working at home, and isolation all began to take additional tolls on our mental and physical health. Many people who were accustomed to going to gyms, and work and using public transit found themselves sitting at their kitchen tables wearing PJs working while refereeing the kids. Worse yet, they were home alone all the time.
Isolating at home even with your loved ones is difficult. Alone, it can be perilous for mental health. Loneliness is actually a risk factor in death. It’s associated with excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drug abuse and obesity. With the second wave of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown of the province of Ontario it is more evident.
Research has shown that leaving the house daily can combat loneliness. It is within the rules to leave your house for essential trips and exercise. Research has found that casual interactions during ‘outdoor’ time are very good for you. Speaking to the grocery clerk, talking to your neighbours while out for a walk, even talking with strangers can all help you restore your sense of well being while isolating at home.
These ‘superficial’ interactions as they are known, are key to well-being and are easy to maintain with social distancing. Speaking to neighbours across the driveway, or the clerk behind the plexiglass shield is easy and safe. While adhering to the public health guidelines we can interact socially. The research also shows that small interactions can have a cumulative effect on your well being.
What can you do if you are feeling isolated or depressed?
- When you go out for your essential errands to the pharmacy or grocery store follow the social distancing guidelines but speak kindly to those around you. They are probably as starved for interactions with new people as you are!
- Make a point of having a daily walk in your neighbourhood. Say ‘hi’ to the people you pass. If you see someone you know linger longer and chat. You can stand 2 metres apart and have a conversation!
- Exercise daily. Eat regularly and sleep regularly. Don’t drink or use drugs in excess.
- Make dates with your friends online, over Zoom or Skype or FaceTime. You can play games together online, have a book club, play bingo, or just talk. It isn’t the same as doing it in person but it’s better than being alone. If you have limited or no online access then pick up the phone and call friends and family.
- Make a list of things you want to accomplish every day and make the goals attainable. It is important to have something to look forward to.
If you are feeling desperate, or fear you are going to self-harm, if you feel hopeless please reach out immediately to anyone. Call 911 or a spiritual leader, a family member, or friend. You can find online resources through the Canadian Mental Health Association 24 hours a day here.
|Posted under Accident Benefit News, COVID
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.