Managing Isolation and relationships during COVID-19

The unforeseeable crisis of COVID-19 pandemic physically distanced us from our family and friends. During this ordeal, it is of immense importance that we manage our time alone and our different relationships the right way. Technology in isolation serves as the greatest boon in helping to connect with our loved ones through text, over a voice call or even a video call. We should try to check up on our friends and relatives every now and then. We should try to lift their spirits by talking to them about normal things like we used to when there was no pandemic but make sure to remind them to take care of their health and get vaccinated. Talk about the feelings you are experiencing and open up to them. Avoid talking about news or the crisis. Another good way of maintaining our relationship with our family or relatives or even our significant other is by hosting virtual dinners once or twice a week. Eating together can bring about positive feelings and moods. Connect again with the people you have not talked to in a long time. In this way you will receive as well as give emotional support.

 

 A study by Bosmans et.al. (2020) found out that parents with children at home during the pandemic in 2020 more often lacked emotional support than in 2019. Thus parents need to use this time to foster a good relationship with their children by having patience and giving them their time, attention, guidance and support. According to Chirumbolo A et.al. (2020), parents need to practice self-efficacy and develop self confidence in their parenting abilities. This in turn can activate personal resources that can prevent the child’s emotional dysregulation. Parents do experience stress during this time but trying not to expose children to their stress can have tremendous positive effects on their children’s emotional regulation.

 

At a time when we are far way from each other being in isolation can cause stress and anxiety as we humans are social animals. But we can try to make the most out of this time and be productive. We can use this time to slow down our struggle in this never ending race of life and focus on ourselves. When everything was normal we barely had any time to focus on our hobbies or reflect on our lives and ourselves. Use this time to do the things you love. It could be anything from painting to singing to dancing to binging on your favourite Netflix shows/movies, from working out to reading or even writing a book. This would be a great time to work on figuring out your strengths and weaknesses and working on not just your weaknesses but also on your strengths at your own pace. If you are a religious or a spiritual person then seek solace in God’s blessings and in praying or doing meditation/yoga. This will help support your physical as well as psychological well-being.

 

The pandemic brought with itself increased cases of anxiety and panic attacks. The study by Bosmans et.al. (2020) also revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic people, especially students and job seekers, were at a greater risk of developing anxiety and depression symptoms. Thus when in isolation focus on other things to distract yourself using the ideas mentioned previously, connect with you near and dear ones and take care of your health.  Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. The most important thing in isolation is maintaining your sleep/wake cycle because disturbed sleep can affect your cognitive functioning as well as your physical and mental health. It can also affect your immune system which is of immense importance during this pandemic. Thus a regular sleep cycle needs to be maintained.

We have to keep in mind that the sun always comes up and one day or another this pandemic will subside. Till then, keep a positive outlook towards, take care of yourself and the others in whichever way possible and most importantly do not lose hope.

 

REFERENCES

van der Velden, P. G., Contino, C., Das, M., van Loon, P., & Bosmans, M. (2020). Anxiety and depression symptoms, and lack of emotional support among the general population before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A prospective national study on prevalence and risk factors. Journal of affective disorders277, 540–548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.08.026

Morelli M, Cattelino E, Baiocco R, Trumello C, Babore A, Candelori C and Chirumbolo A (2020) Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Lockdown: The Influence of Parenting Distress and Parenting Self-Efficacy on Children’s Emotional Well-Being. Front. Psychol. 11:584645. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584645 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584645/full

 

Bushra Rashid

(Christ University, Kengeri Campus)
Intern at Wings Within.