Coping With Loneliness In Custody: 5 Tips

It is clear that the situation of forced containment that the global pandemic has brought us into does not affect everyone in the same way.

However, there are relatively common issues among the population that have to do with the fact that when everyone stays at home except for reasons of great need, our experiences tend to converge more than usual. And one of those most common experiences is loneliness.

In the following lines we will see some key ideas on how to deal with loneliness in a health crisis, Economic and social like the one we live in.

    From the virus crisis to the loneliness crisis

    We humans are animals made to live in society, and this is also noticeable in the way we experience and deal with emotions. Any sign of lack of social interaction becomes a cause of strong discomfort if it continues for a long time. And in this sense, the confinement resulting from the state of pandemic alert has caused millions of people to barely leave their homes for more than a month, a period that is enough to make them feel very bad, in some cases.

    Probably, when we think about the idea of ​​people feeling lonely because of being locked up, it will occur to us that they have spent many weeks alone in their apartments, especially those who are not going to work. outside their home.

    While this part of the population probably tends to feel more lonely than the rest, the truth is that this type of discomfort goes beyond these extreme situations (although not uncommon, unfortunately) and affects more people.

    The reason is that we not only feel that we don’t have loved ones physically by our side, but that we suddenly see our social life limited. Change habits by talking, asking for news, laughing together, playing and generally interacting, Makes many people feel radically isolated socially. What causes discomfort is often the contrast between expectation and reality.

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    There are always individual differences and it is clear that each person is unique, but in general it is possible to have several guidelines which usually help in dealing with the feeling of loneliness produced by a quarantine or other similar situation. They are as follows.

    1. Maintain a routine of social contact

    With confinement, it is easy to bring about disorganized schedules, and with that we run the risk of leaving open the opportunities we have to talk to others (Call, make video calls, etc.).

    Therefore, something as simple as setting a schedule and following it with some discipline helps us have free time that we can devote to cultivating these relationships without feeling bad about not taking care of our responsibilities.

    2. Express yourself openly

    A crisis like this global pandemic creates a context in which it is normal to need the emotional support of others. For that, while there are usually no valid reasons to build armor that hides our emotions, in a situation like this it makes even less sense: Friends and relatives in general are there just to help in special times.

    3. Don’t waste the potential of online communities

    Beyond building relationships with people you already know, remember that on the Internet, it is possible to meet more people, with the advantage that it is easy to find communities of people with common interests in ours.

      4. Take a Distant Perspective on Parasocial Relationships

      Parasocial relationships are phenomena in which we think we have a more or less close relationship with someone for whom in many ways we don’t even exist.

      This is something that happens mostly with young people, who spend a lot of time on the internet exposing themselves to famous people posting on their social media (and videos) pretending to have a conversation with those on the other side of the world. screen, and even simulate friendships.

      In most cases, this is just a marketing method to retain subscribers by fostering this parasocial relationship, but in some cases there is a risk that part of the public will start to equate this bogus link with a real and meaningful relationship. paradoxically, such relationships characterized by being always available produce more discomfort and loneliness, In the medium and long term.

      5. Pay attention

      Staying healthy is an indirect way to take care of our emotional balance. If we don’t get enough sleep, eat poorly, or exercise, psychological problems will arise in one form or another, and feeling lonely can be part of it.

      Do you need professional psychological support for the pandemic?

      If you would like professional help to deal with feelings of loneliness or any other form of psychological distress, I invite you to contact me. I am a general psychologist specializing in adults and adolescents, I have a professional career of over 15 years in this sector, and more than attending my consultation in Madrid, I offer therapy online. My contact details are available on this page.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Cacioppo, J .; Hawkley, L. (2010). Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination of Consequences and Mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 40 (2): 218-227.
      • Zhou, X .; Sedikides, C .; Wildschut, T .; Gao, D. (2008). Fight against loneliness: on the restorative function of nostalgia. Psychological sciences. 19 (10): 1023-1029.

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