As the world is beginning to open up again after the COVID-19 lockdown, many people in the community are still feeling the effects of isolation.
According to Lifeline, there are some tell-tale signs to show loneliness and isolation are negatively impacting us:
- Feeling tired, low in energy or lacking motivation
- Feeling sad or worthless
- Getting headaches, aches, and pains, upset stomach or medical conditions getting worse
- Having problems with sleep – sleeping too much or too little or having trouble falling asleep
- Suddenly losing or gaining weight
- Consuming alcohol, smoking, or taking medications more than usual
- Thinking about suicide
Look out for your family, friends, and neighbours, and remind them that life after lockdown can be an opportunity to find meaning in everyday life.
Here are some tips to help you feel connected again:
Join a club
Do you like gardening, drawing, movies, books or even walking? Do your research on some clubs in your local community and get socialising with likeminded people and make some meaningful friendships.
Set a daily routine
Making a daily routine and set some goals for the day, including activities and tasks that are meaningful to you to feel more organised and accomplished.
A nice walk, some gentle exercise, or a lap around the beach in your wheelchair are great options for getting back into the community can-do wonders for your mental health and physical health.
Don’t let a sunny day go to waste! Spending time in the fresh air can be an instant mood lifter.
Learn a new hobby
While lockdown was a great opportunity to learn something new, now is a great time to keep building on your skills or learn something new from scratch!
Talk to someone
Help is always available if you have the courage to speak up. If you are really struggling, have a chat to a professional:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Mensline: 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Written By Maddy Smith – OT Student October 2021
Article inspired by www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/information-and-support/loneliness-and-isolation/