How to cope with Social Isolation when you’re alone
I wanted to make this video because I’m noticing a lot of different issues coming up in my online sessions with clients to do with social isolation when you’re alone.
While there are certainly a lot of different difficulties that have come to the forefront when it comes to sharing a house with a lot of people during this lockdown period, this video is specifically for those of you who are doing this on your own, who are at home alone trying to weather this uncertainty.
For you, those feelings of social isolation are going to be heightened, and it’s really, really difficult.
I think there are some fantastic resources out there. You’ve probably been reading a lot about online contact, and certainly, you want to be doing your Zoom and Skype calls, you want to be arranging lunches online and connecting with people that way, there’s still something to be said for physical touch.
That’s what you’re missing out on right now. You’re missing out on actual connection in that very human, physical way. Even when you go out for your walk, people are moving away from you.
So, it must feel especially hard, and it’s perfectly understandable that you’re feeling alone and a bit more isolated right now. So, this video is for you.
I want you to know first of all that these needs for physical touch are very normal.
So, the first thing I want you to do is be there for yourself. Think about that little person inside of you. I have a little Courtney. Each of you has a little one inside of them. And just make space for that person. Make space for that need, okay?
Say, “it’s normal that I want to connect physically, and it’s really, really hard that I can’t right now”. It’s really hard, but these needs are normal. Make space for that and say that it’s okay.
The second thing that I want you to do is think about ways that you can get some physical touch right now. It might not be from another person, but how can you get some physical touch?
One way you can do that is to touch yourself. I know where a lot of you are going with that, and you know what, I totally support that, if that’s what you like to do!
But more broadly speaking, what I’m talking about here is just taking time for your body and yourself. Taking time to give yourself that physical touch. Whether it’s a bit of self-massage, taking some lotion and rubbing it into your body, taking some time for your skin and your face, or taking some extra time to be with your body.
Now, for those of you struggling with body image difficulties and eating disorders, and a lot of my clients do, this suggestion is pretty tough.
But even then, find a part of your body, perhaps your feet or your hands, and touch and be aware of that touch.
For those of you who have pets – they’re a wonderful source of connection and support right now. The connection to another living heartbeat and some interaction in the here and now is so beautiful, so wonderful. If you’re able to get a pet into your home as a quarantine companion – there are lots of movements right now, lots of places you can go to do that. And that’s a wonderful way also to feel a bit less alone and have that physical contact with something alive.
The other thing that you can consider doing is engaging with something with your hands, something like kneading bread, really touching and moving and engaging with something alive. Even the yeast is alive, and it gives you a sense of movement and connection with something. Do something physical, yeah?
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, get out there. Get your fingers into the earth and grow something alive.
Now, I know none of these things is the same as a hug from somebody else, and as I said when I started, that’s okay.
But please know that this period of time is not forever. It will pass. I know we don’t know quite when right now, but before you know it, you’ll be able to connect with loved ones and with others and get that all-needed human touch that we all need.
So, I’ll do another video for those of you struggling with being cooped up with too many people, so keep an eye out for that.
But for now, to those of you on your own, you can do this. It will be okay, and it’ll be over soon.