Research has found that during quarantine, you may experience feelings of stigmatization, fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness, anger, frustration and boredom.
Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce the negative emotions you may be experiencing during this trying time. You can do this in the following ways:
- Use the phone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family and others and stay in touch.
- Talk “face to face,” set up virtual lunch/coffee dates, or throw parties or have hangouts with friends and loved ones using Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or other video chatting platforms.
- Schedule a day and time for the meeting(s) in your calendar. When ready, open a video chatting app from your mobile device, select the group of individuals you want to add to the video call, and then start the call.
- Ask your friends or loved ones to drop off books of interest/that they recommend reading.
- Take time to say thank you to your friends and family, express how important they are to you, and be available to listen when they need support.
- If you’re feeling sad or anxious, use conversations as an opportunity to discuss your experience and emotions associated with quarantine.
- Reach out to those you know who may be having an extra difficult time during quarantine (Ex: friends who are pregnant, those who work in health care, those who have been laid off, etc.)
- Consider joining and connecting with Facebook groups that share a similar interest of yours or offer support during this time.
- Hang out with your friends virtually while playing games together online or meeting them in virtual worlds.
- Virtually celebrate milestones and hold wedding and graduation ceremonies (that didn’t happen because of the crisis).
- Discover quarantine memes with your friends with Instagram’s new Co-Watching feature.
- Evidence suggests that creative activities can have a healing and protective effect on mental wellbeing. If you find you have time to spare while at home, tap into your creative side and take time to journal, write creatively, draw, paint or craft items that you can share virtually with others.
- Join a virtual workout class (for free) and ask a friend or loved one to join for motivation.
Why Social Relationships Are Important for Mental Health
The lack of social support can lead to isolation and loneliness, which is why a strong social support network can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times. Social support benefits you in the following ways:
- Improves the ability to cope with stressful situations
- Alleviates the effects of emotional distress
- Promotes lifelong good mental health
- Enhances self-esteem
Friends play a significant role in promoting your mental wellbeing. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression. Friends can help you with the following:
- Celebrating good times, like a birthday or promotion
- Providing support during bad times, like a personal or global crisis
- Increasing your happiness and sense of belonging and purpose
- Improving your self-confidence and self-worth
- Coping with traumas, such as serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Pushing to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, like lack of exercise
“Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress, Mayo Clinic
Staff,” mayoclinic.org, June 27, 2018.
“Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health,” Mayo Clinic Staff, mayoclinic.org, Aug. 24, 2019.