The Coronavirus and Mental Health: 5 Tips for Isolated Singles

Randy Withers

By Matt Fuller. Previously published on Blunt Therapy.

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Social distancing directives that the authorities have imposed on populations across the planet go way beyond the physical impact incurred by mandatory self-isolation.      

“We have to change the way we interact for quite some time,” according to Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, adding “if we are going to quickly prevent the spread of the virus we need to step up our efforts in preventing human to human transmissions”

Mental Health experts everywhere are echoing the same advice – Staying connected with friends and family is vital. “A loss of connection and routine is absolutely devastating for many ordinary people” according to Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman.

If you’re single and in isolation alone, you’ll need to take extra steps to keep your mental well-being in check.

1. Fighting Loneliness During Isolation 

Some of us are fortunate enough to be quarantined with family and loved ones. Many others are forced to ride it out alone as the gravity of this crisis starts to kick in.  “Isolation for long periods of time can be traumatic for anyone. But for those with a pre-existing history of PTSD are even more at risk” according to therapist Haley Neidich.

She urges anyone with pre-existing mental health conditions to take digital social contact seriously. Neidich stresses to keep in contact with your therapist. 

 2. Maintain Perspective And Find A Healthy Balance

The current crisis affects everyone in some way, it’s reasonable to be concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak, but remember; scientific, medical, and public health authorities in more than 10 countries are working around the clock to develop a vaccine.

The saturation of negative information from the media will heighten our tendency to feel depressed and anxious. Staying informed is important although consider limiting your media intake. If your anxiety levels are compounding, avoid the media for a period of time.     

Choose a small handful of credible media resources to obtain credible information. By doing this you’ll help yourself to maintain perspective and feel in control.  Start here: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) News.

3. Suggested Activities For Isolated Singles To Keep Your Mind Busy

I bet a lot of you who are single, self-isolating, and social distancing are starting to feel like the walls are closing in! Keep your mind busy, here’s how.  

  • Clear out your wardrobe

Decluttering is a fantastic way to destress. Particularly if you’re a little OCD, start with your wardrobe and work on removing the unnecessary clutter in your life. Dedicate your new-found time to sorting out your wardrobe. Arrange and co-ordinate your clothes into neat sections by their color so it’s easier to browse and you can mix and match your outfits with ease. Tip: Grab a bunch of vacuum-sealed bags if you’re tight on space.

  • Lego

Lego is the perfect time-wasting exercise and it’s F-U-N too! Word on the grapevine is that David Beckham and his kids have been building Lego sculptures, and I’ll bet he’s not the only one. Lego is great for keeping the mind busy for both kids and adults.  

  • Jigsaw puzzles

Take a break from the screen for the afternoon while you tackle a tricky 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

  • Online course

Now is THE perfect time to get stuck into doing that online course you’ve been putting off. With Groupon slashing their online course fees by up to 70% it’s time to make your move!

  • Learn a second language

The Duolingo – the world’s most recognized app for learning languages online, for just a few minutes a day you can learn up to 30 new languages!  Challenge yourself and learn a new language in just a few short weeks.  

4. Use Dating And Messaging Apps To Connect With Others

With strict mandates in place to self-isolate, dating apps are enjoying a serious upsurge in downloads and website traffic.  Bumble, a dating app used primarily by urban millennials and Gen Z singles, reported huge increases in messages being exchanged particularly in cities with tight self-isolation and social distancing restrictions. Bumble recorded on average a 25% spike in sent messages in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.  

Video dating is the new norm amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here are some handy tips for your next Tinder or Bumble video date;

  • Dress up from top to bottom. Make sure you look your best.
  • Check the lighting is set to the right mood. Avoid fluorescent lighting if you can, use low wattage lighting.
  • Chat about a helpful experience you’ve had whilst in lockdown; whether you share an experience about your Instagram party or the horror movie you and your friends watched together on Netflix by pressing the start button at the same time, treat your video dates the same as you would in the real world. 

Online Chat

Various chat rooms and support groups exist all over the internet. Facebook, for example, has tens of thousands of topic-specific groups available.

  • Free chat rooms geared towards singles also exist. Chatroom.org.au, for example, is a new online chat service catering to various categories for singles. Connect live via private text messaging and photo-sharing capabilities, a great way to meet new people who share your values.         

There are more singles online now than ever, so if you’re single get on the apps and stay on the apps!

  • Grab the Discord app and screen share with up to 50 of your friends. Discord is the new way to hang out with your friends and communities online via text, voice, or video. The app is ideal if you’re part of a gamers group, an art group, a club at college or school, or if you just want to meet up with your friends online for any occasion.     

5. Make Your Health And Fitness A Priority

If you’ve been too time-poor to get in shape and prioritize your health and fitness, you’ve just run out of excuses! The time is now my friend and what’s more important than your health?

With gyms now off-limits, there are countless exercise and workout options available online.

Grab your yoga mat, your laptop, and start punching out these free instructor-led virtual workouts! Don’t forget to grab some fresh air every day. Here’s why.  Work on your nutrition and transform your mind and body.

There is various research that demonstrates compelling links between healthy lifestyle habits and a healthy immune system – protect yourself against Coronavirus.      

Don’t let your mental health suffer during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Arrange your routine, stick to it, and emerge on the other side a bigger and better person!  

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Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Addictions Specialist. I write about mental health, therapy, substance abuse, and recovery. All opinions are my own.

Charlotte, NC
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