Due to COVID-19, most of us are either social distancing, self-isolating, or self-quarantining. Although this is important to keep ourselves and others safe, it does bring with it a whole set of challenges. With many of us spending more time at home or on our own, one of the biggest challenges we are faced with is dealing with feelings of isolation.
Social isolation refers to experiencing a lack of social interaction with friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, community and society. Whilst there are some people that are comfortable with their own company, there are many others who do enjoy spending time with others and may be struggling to adjust.
As humans, we are social beings who thrive on meaningful connections with others. Not having enough social connection can negatively impact our mental health and wellbeing, so we do need to prioritise staying connected with others during this challenging time. Due to various government restrictions, we may not be able to see our loved ones as we normally would. However, it is important for us to think about the ways we can increase or enhance our social interactions with others in ways that are within our control.
We recommend you consult with your GP, who can discuss local support or treatment options with you. They can prepare a Mental Health Care Plan, which will enable you to access treatment services with a psychologist or psychiatrist through Medicare, or a referral to local Community Mental Health Services. Your GP can also provide a physical check-up, if you haven’t had one recently. Your physical health can affect your emotional wellbeing.
If you don’t have one already, you can find a GP in your local area at Beyond Blue.
Another option is online treatment. MindSpot offers free online and telephone delivered treatments which help people manage their symptoms stress, anxiety, low mood and depression.