by Misha Fabian
No one ever thinks they’d have to live through a pandemic. Yet, here we are- heading into our sixth week of Enhanced Community Quarantine in a hopeful attempt to curb the dreaded coronavirus. It has been a struggle to keep from seeking the company of other people especially since everyone has been urged to stay indoors and refrain from coming into contact with others. It’s not safe yet. And it looks like it won’t be for a little while longer.
In the midst of this pandemic, we are reminded time and time again that taking care of our health is the best thing that we could do for ourselves. However, it’s also necessary to note that while physical health is incredibly important, emotional and mental well-being matter just as much. It’s difficult to live in isolation when you’re riddled with anxiety and doubt, and it’s extremely uncomfortable, sometimes even painful, to stamp down your craving for human interaction during a time you need it the most.
Poet John Donne wrote: “No man is an island”. While indeed we all have different personalities, likes, and dislikes, numerous studies have said that humans are wired to be social beings and would ultimately find themselves drawn to other humans. This rings especially true during times of crisis. Personally, whenever I find myself going through a tough time, I find that two things work best to get me out of my slump: a tight hug and a meaningful conversation. So, turning away from your instinct to turn to people while on quarantine? Not a good thing. If you shut down, you will only end up hurting yourself.
A recommendation for taking care of your headspace during quarantine is communicating with a friend. While social distancing means that you have to physically keep away from other people, it does not mean you have to be socially distant. One tip? Check up on your loved ones every so often by messaging them.
During normal circumstances, we tend to overlook the impact of a simple “hey” or “how are you doing?”.
I can imagine that shooting such messages during these times will make your presence doubly felt and would keep your own longing at bay.
Thanks to the Internet, there is no shortage of ways that you can connect. You can watch movies, workout, cook, eat, what-have-you together with your loved ones from the safety of your own home. I’ve found that while doing stuff virtually doesn’t beat the real thing, it’s still incredibly effective and it is potent in making bad feelings dissipate. So the next time you’re feeling blue and missing social interaction, don’t run away from it or feel guilty about it. Instead, reach out to a friend or two. You’d be surprised at how much they need it, too.