Social Participation

COVID-19 has pushed us to distance ourselves from others and social isolation is on the rise. We don’t want to contract the virus, but we also find ourselves cut off from others more than before. Research indicates that social isolation can increase your risk for a variety of physical and mental conditions:
 
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • depression
  • obesity
  • low self-esteem
  • a weakened immune system
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • depression
  • mental confusion
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • and even death
Not all social isolation is bad, sometimes we enjoy private time to ourselves. Not only is it distancing ourselves from one another it is also the feeling of being cut off from others more than we want. The results of loneliness are unhealthy.

Ways to Avoid Loneliness and Engage in Social Participation

Thankfully there are ways that we can avoid these physical and mental conditions. In order to avoid social isolation, it is helpful to have self-care strategies you can fall back on. Reduce the negative effects of social isolation by:

  • Staying connected to friends. Continue with phone calls, email, texting, social media, and virtual meetings when you can.
  • Engaging in relaxing activities. Journaling, reading, participating in hobbies you enjoy, exercising, listening to music, meditating, and praying can all help you feel connected.
  • Develop a daily routine to structure your time. It’s when you have nothing else to do that you begin to worry and fret and loneliness sets in.
  • Maintain healthy habits, such as eating well, and getting enough sleep and exercise. If you feel overwhelmed by isolation, get help. When circumstances limit in-person contact, people can connect with a mental health professional by phone or videoconference.

It’s important to stay connected to your friends. Reach out to them and make the connection.

Take advantage of opportunities to interact with others when you can. DNL offers a variety of ways you can connect including DNL Live videos to support calls and volunteer Zoom visits.

Want More Ideas on How To Avoid Social Isolation?

Call us at 616-396-5326 for additional suggestions for connecting with others.

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