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Humans are generally social beings. Even those who enjoy quiet time alone often reach out to others every so often to socialise and feel less lonely. But, during this pandemic, the risks associated with COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) means more and more people are being told to stay home and isolate. Although this is helping many essential workers and health workers to be able to do their job properly, it’s putting many people at risk of isolation, feelings of depression and loneliness. But, there are ways to continue to feel connected during these strange and different times.

Stick To A Schedule

When we’re staying at home, it’s easier to sleep in, wander around aimlessly and just do as you please whenever the feeling strikes. But, sticking to a routine of some sort will help you to feel less lonely and keep some normality to your day.

If you are able to work from home, continue to stick to a regular work schedule as you would if you were commuting to work. If your normal hours are 9 am to 5 pm with a lunch break, be sure to work during those times and schedule in a lunch break. Of course, working from home also means you can relax the rules a little. But, if you feel like you need the structure, it’s best to stick to work hours as closely as possible.

If you’re currently not working due to the pandemic, having a schedule of activities that you’ll be doing each day can still help. Even if you schedule in your meal times, times to go out for some exercise and even schedule in time to call friends, this will all help to keep your day running as smoothly as possible.

Connect With Friends and Family

Now is a great time to get in contact with friends and family that you’d normally be too busy to catch up with. We have some great technology at our fingertips, so this is a good opportunity to get to use them.

If you have a smartphone, you can easily download some video calling apps to connect with friends and family. You can also use programs on your PC such as Zoom to video call others. Although it’s not quite the same as visiting them in person, you may be able to feel more connected if you can see them as you chat. If you’re not up for talking, simple text messages and online messages can still help you to feel united.

Go Online

If you’re not in touch with friends and family, why not make some new friends online? Do you have a special hobby or interest? Chances are there are plenty of others who are just like you looking for others to chat with. You can find some relevant groups on Facebook or subreddits on Reddit to help you find some like-minded people.

Enjoy playing games? There are a number of different video games that can help you gain new friends. If you’re looking for a role-playing game, a game such as World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls Online could be right up your alley. For a bit more action, you can choose a game such as Destiny 2, Apex Legends or Warframe. You can find “Looking For Groups” (LFG) posts online to find new players to complete tasks with if you wish.

Get Counselling

If things aren’t feeling very good, you’re feeling down and really want some help to get through your social isolation, there’s always someone to talk to. Beyond Blue has provided a great guide on seeking help and assistance throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. They also provide online and telephone counselling should you need it. 

If you feel like you need urgent help, you can call Lifeline (or Lifeline Text is available 6 pm-midnight (AEST) on 0477 13 11 14), Beyond Blue or speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Remember, it’s important to stay connected with others even through social isolation. There are plenty of people out there who are wanting to connect, too. Staying in touch with others not only will help with feelings of loneliness but can help improve your mental health, too. If you need urgent help or medical advice, remember to always have a chat with your doctor.