THE LEVEL – Escapes? We all need them, particularly during this pandemic recovery period, but if you find yourself retreating away from family and friends for longer and longer periods of time, it may be time to evaluate whether your temporary escape has turned into a full-blown retreat.
Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Social isolation is different. Unlike loneliness, social isolation is rooted in not having a social network of friends and family to lean in on.
Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated, according to mental health experts.
“We’re social species, who really need others to survive,” says Stephanie Caicioppo, a social neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist at the University of Chicago who worries about the impact of pandemic-related isolatation.
Researchers have discovered clear evidence that long-term isolation can have a dramatic impact on long-term health and well-being contributing to increased rates of depression, cognition and comprehension, according to a published article in TheScientist.
A longitudinal study reveals that higher rates of social isolation and loneliness are directly associated with poorer physical and mental health. Among those most at risk are those who report both conditions, typical of the elderly and individuals with chronic health issues.
If you find that you or someone you love is feeling like your need for “alone time” has become excessive during what many hope will be the final months of the pandemic recovery period, try these tips to get reconnected.
1) Maintain a daily routine. Now that we’ve had some first-hand experience with COVID requirements, experts at Counseling Today recommend we refresh family time and introduce new activities that prompt family members to interact and engage.
5) Chronicle your COVID experience. This is a memorable and historic time. Take some time to collect and share COVID routines and memories to pass along.