The effects are hazardous even to your physical health
Being locked down in our homes may already be unsettling to many but more so when one is further confined within the four walls of a room. The past two years has taught us how to control our innate desires as humans, which is to socialize. We were created to be relational and social beings.
As a matter of fact, research evidence from Louise C. Hawkley and John P. Capitanio’s 2015 study on perceived social isolation, evolutionary fitness, and health outcomes showed that deficits in social relationship as perceived by social isolation such as loneliness is linked to adverse health and fitness consequences. These undesirable outcomes include depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, unfavorable cardiovascular function, impaired immunity, and even alteration in a pro-inflammatory gene expression profile, as well as earlier mortality.
Simply put, social isolation affects our mental health, emotional state, performance, and function. It also depresses our immune system, which is a great concern especially during this pandemic. It can also increase the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body that not only further affects our ability to fight off diseases and infection but also aggravates existing medical conditions.
Inevitably, in the interest of preserving mankind, the world had no choice but to implement physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More and more people were subjected to isolation regardless of having symptoms or merely coming in close contact with an infected patient.
Due to the impact of isolation on health and its effect on depression, anxiety, and dementia, the World Health Organization encourages everyone to not cease socializing at a distance. Phones and online platforms may be utilized to stay connected.
If you are on isolation, here are some ways you can keep your sanity intact:
If you experience feelings of depression and anxiety, manifest aggressive behavior, poor sleep quality, or insomnia, decline in cognitive function, memory alteration, passive attitude, hopelessness, and self-neglect, it is best to reach out to a health professional albeit online.
Feed your mind with positivity. We shouldn’t deny fear and negative feelings. Instead of dwelling on them and allowing fear to paralyze you, however, begin to acknowledge these feelings and feed yourself with positive things. For example, stop reading online articles that only add to your anxiety. If need be, unfollow toxic people and pages on social media. Avoid listening to or watching content that do nothing but scare you further. Instead, read content that gives you hope. Listen to music that relaxes you. Listen and watch content that will uplift your spirits. Laughter therapy will do health wonders. Most important, pray and meditate. You will be amazed by how, even in the midst of doubts and fears, a simple prayer has the power to clear your mind, settle your emotions, and unburden your heart.
Stay connected. It isn’t about quantity or the number of people you talk to. It is about the quality of your conversations. Don’t subject yourself to conversations where you feel burdened. You will end up more depressed, mentally exhausted, and emotionally drained. You shouldn’t be pressured to explain to everyone why you are in your current state. What you need is someone who can speak life into your situation with words of encouragement and hope. Stay connected but learn to filter. Protect yourself. Your mental health is at stake.
Being in prolonged isolation may significantly impact your mental state and put your safety at risk. If you experience feelings of depression and anxiety, manifest aggressive behavior, poor sleep quality, or insomnia, decline in cognitive function, memory alteration, passive attitude, hopelessness, and self-neglect, it is best to reach out to a health professional albeit online. These are red flags and must be dealt with accordingly and promptly.
Prioritize your mental and emotional health during isolation. This too shall pass.