Pandemic-induced loneliness is a major problem that is affecting people all over the world. Being locked down for months on end is unprecedented and most of us have never had to endure anything similar before in our lives. Not being able to meet friends and family, or even to have minor interactions with strangers, is having a detrimental effect on a lot of people’s mental health.
While COVID-19 is having an obviously devastating effect on the lives of the millions in terms of sickness and even death, the loneliness of lockdown is also having a (less observable, but still very real) negative impact on the psychological health of millions of people.
Human beings are a social species, so lockdowns alone can be a tremendously challenging experience. But in addition, being locked down with family or friends can also be very challenging. Living in such close proximity without much personal space can put a major strain on even the strongest of relationships. It is possible to feel lonely even when living in close proximity with others.
This level of social isolation, and on such a mass scale, is unprecedented in recent history. So people have a lot of questions… Is pandemic-induced loneliness real? What psychological effects could the COVID-19 pandemic cause? Are people more depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic? Can loneliness during COVID have lasting negative health effects? How can I handle living alone during COVID?
Today we will aim to answer these questions, as well as providing some tips on how to combat loneliness, stay connected, and boost mental health.
Is Pandemic-Induced Loneliness Real?
Pandemic-induced loneliness is undoubtedly a real thing. People are having to spend more time alone, away from family and friends, than ever before. Not only this, but being on lockdown means that people are having far fewer of the simple, day-to-day interactions with strangers that used to pepper daily living. This lack of human contact is resulting in a pandemic of loneliness.
What Psychological Effects Could The COVID-19 Pandemic Cause?
Pandemic-induced loneliness can have several negative psychological effects, including:
In extreme cases, pandemic-induced loneliness can even make symptoms of OCD, PTSD, and phobias more acute.
Are People More Depressed During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
There is good reason to believe that people are more depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic. People have more empty time on their hands, less interaction with other people, and tend to be watching a lot of worry- and fear-inducing news.
Can Loneliness During COVID Have Lasting Negative Health Effects?
Loneliness during COVID can have lasting negative health effects. People are constantly being conditioned by their life experiences. A sustained period of loneliness that causes depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other negative psychological effects can potentially have a scarring effect that will last into the future.
How Can I Handle Living Alone During COVID?
If you live alone during COVID-19, there are several ways you can maintain good psychological health. During the pandemic, it is more important than ever to diligently work at strengthening your mental health by engaging in psychologically healthy habits such as:
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Staying in contact with friends and family
- Seeking professional help if necessary
- Spending time with an emotional pet
How To Combat Loneliness, Stay Connected, And Boost Mental Health During COVID-19
Here are four proven ways to combat loneliness and stay psychologically healthy during the COVID pandemic…
The company of an emotional support animal will keep loneliness at bay and help you to preserve a healthy and robust mental and emotional landscape. ESAs are loyal and loving and can provide the connection that we all need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The responsibility of caring for an ESA will also force you to come out of yourself and engage with the world outside. An ESA will be a good-natured, positive, happy addition to your household that will give you an important reason to stay healthy and get up in the morning.
2. Exercise Your ESA
One of the many great things about having an emotional support animal is that it means that you must get outside to exercise. Most popular ESAs, such as dogs, need daily exercise.
The need to get outside and exercise your ESA every day will mean that you get more exercise yourself, which is great for mental health. It will also mean that you get more contact with the outside world and other people, even though it’s from a safe distance.
3. Stay In Daily Contact With Friends And Family
During COVID it is essential to stay in regular contact with friends and family, for the maintenance of your mental health. A telephone call with a loved one, or even better, a face-to-face over Zoom, can be a very uplifting experience and goes a long way to keeping pandemic-induced loneliness at bay.
4. See A Therapist
If you are feeling especially lonely and this is causing depression and anxiety, it is a good idea to seek professional help. A good therapist can have an extremely positive impact on your wellbeing and massively increase your quality of life.
A course of therapy can have a positive effect that lasts even after the pandemic. During COVID, therapists are available for online or phone treatment programs when face-to-face meetings are not possible.
How To Get An ESA Letter During Lockdown
You can get an emotional support animal letter during lockdown by visiting the Moosh online clinic. Through Moosh, you will be put in contact with a state-licensed mental health practitioner who will verify your condition. Once your condition has been verified and your suitability for ESA treatment confirmed, you will be emailed an ESA letter. It is a very simple and quick process that you can do entirely from your own home.