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Alone but Not Lonely: Living Alone During the Covid-19 Quarantine

Dr. Dana McNeil
Latest posts by Dr. Dana McNeil (see all)

A 2019 study found that 36.48 million people lived alone in the United States. What that statistic means is that there are a whole lot of people sorting out how to weather our current shelter-in-place circumstances without a partner to help
navigate the day-to-day tasks and stressors that go along with living alone right now.

Living alone during shelter-in-place?

Living alone during normal times can feel like a calm from the storm of all the demands, noise, and busy-ness of your work and social life. However, when your home also becomes your office, knowing how to survive the lack of human contact becomes confusing.

Here are some of the best ways to thrive while living alone and sheltering in place.

Continue with your routines.

If you wake up every morning to yoga, a bowl of
oatmeal, and walk with your dog, then keep doing it. Reminding yourself that some things in your life haven’t changed keeps your brain organized and soothed by the rituals of day that you used in the past to anchor you. Schedule regular events with friends.

For us, Thursday nights at 5:00 became a virtual happy hour. We get to look forward to seeing each other’s faces, sharing in our collective worries (as well as our collective hopes), and being reminded how funny our friends can be. This is a real source of support and connection during these uncertain times.

Who needs to hear from you today?

Reach out to those friends, co-workers, or family members that might be either feeling alone or needing a break from their current stressors and would be cheered up by a call or text from you. Just letting someone know you thought of them or wanted to share a new show you have been binge-watching that made you think of them is a nice gift to share.

Share your thoughts with others or get support online.

When social media is used to lift and reflect with others, then it can be a positive tool for connection. Write something inspiring, make a note about something that went well for you today, or share a picture of something on your daily walk that others might enjoy seeing. The point is to notice all the things happening for you that are worthy of feeling good about as a way to get reinforcement from your collection of friends
and family to remind you that you are loved and seen.

Have Fun!

Is it time to eat ice cream for breakfast, dance around the living room to your favorite 80’s tunes, or make funny videos of yourself while brushing your teeth? Now is the time to dig out comedies, memes, and gifs that make you laugh. The more you laugh the more the feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine will be giving you daily doses of the kinds of coping skills you most need to get through this time in your life.

Remember, this is temporary.

This crisis will come to an end. Yes, it’s nerve-racking not knowing exactly when that will be. However, you have gone through hard times in life in the past. Remind yourself of those times and how much stronger you are than you probably give yourself credit for. What did you do during those times that you can call on now to get you through today? Just take this one day at a time.

Don’t forget: The Relationship Place is offering free remote consultations during this challenging time. Schedule a with us today!

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