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Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, India has been on complete lockdown since 25 March 2020, which would last for the next 21 days. People are not allowed to step out of their houses unless absolutely necessary. Since the disease can spread rapidly among people, maintaining distance is not an option anymore, but a necessity. 

People are asked to maintain proper hygiene, wash their hands and stay indoors. But for most people, social distancing can turn into loneliness. Studies have concluded that being lonely for a long time can lead to a variety of mental health problems like anxiety, depression and even dementia. Studies have also said that staying alone decreases the rate of recovery in most of the people.

So to cope with loneliness during this lockdown, here are 10 tips that can keep you socially engaged while maintaining the required healthy distance.

  1. Join an online course
  2. Take up your old hobbies
  3. Exercise with your family
  4. Bond over 'work from home'
  5. Spend time with your family
  6. Video call your loved ones
  7. Get back to your reading habits
  8. Watch a new show with your friends
  9. Go for a walk
  10. Play online games with your friends
  11. Doctors for COVID-19: 10 safe ways to engage socially while maintaining healthy distance

There are plenty of online courses that can be taken up while staying at home. Some of these courses are:

  • Language courses: You may not have spoken French or German ever in your life, but there’s no reason why you cannot finally master a new language now. There are various online courses and apps that have been crafted by experts for everyone from beginners to the ones who want to refine their skills.
  • Photography courses: There are various photography courses which help people learn new techniques to improve their skills in 10 to 15 lessons.
  • Yoga groups: Online yoga groups not only help you kill time but also improves your overall health.
  • Guitar classes: There are plenty of courses for guitar lessons online. Even if you do not wish to join these courses, you can get a number of guitar lesson videos on YouTube for free. If you have any other musical instrument you were keen to learn, you can look up online courses for them too.
  • Computer programming: There are several courses on computer programming available online, and those who feel they can add value to your professional skills, one can take that up as well.
  • Management lessons: Several online training courses on the various aspects of management are available online for career professionals, that can help someone pick up management skills while working from home.

A hectic work life may have forced you to put your hobbies in the backburner. Now is a great time to return to old hobbies such as painting, cooking or playing your favourite board game. Take out your paint and brushes and create your own abstract. You can also post your art on social media to flaunt your skills. You may watch new food recipes and try out some healthy and tasty examples during the lockdown. If you have a small garden in your backyard or terrace, you can utilise this time to clear out some weeds or plant some bulbs.

One of the best ways to engage with your family is to do an activity together. Practice some aerobic exercises or some practice some yoga asanas. You can also turn on the music and do some Zumba. This will not only keep your body healthy but also create feelings of positivity among you and your family members.

If you are working from home during this lockdown, this might be the right time for you to bond with your teammates. Keep cheering each other up over messages. Share your daily routines with each other. Keep asking for each other’s well-being. You can also do group video calls before ending the day.

We all get so occupied with our work and friends that we forget spending time with our family. This is a nice opportunity to spend time with your family, parents or your kids. Take out your old family album and recollect all the happy memories of your childhood. You can pick an interesting movie for the day and watch it with your family. If you do not live with family, you might feel anxious as you cannot meet them or help them out in any manner. Do not lose your calm at this point, call them from time to time and keep checking in to make sure they’re fine. Not only will they find it comforting, but you will also feel better after knowing that they are safe.

Thanks to technology, people staying in different parts of the world can connect to each other with the help of video calling. Scientists have found in various studies that people have the highest levels of happiness after they see each other. They tend to talk more and smile more on video calls as compared to audio calls, and even less during a text-based conversation. There are various online applications that allow people to video call. So during this lockdown, call your loved ones and join them in a group video call to deal with loneliness.

You can finally utilise this time to cherish your hobby of reading books, but since you cannot leave your house to buy or borrow books, you can join online book clubs. These book clubs provide you with all kinds of books that you wish to read. They also have an audiobook platform where you can even listen to them. Once you are done with a book, you can write a blog about it. It will help you connect with other book lovers globally.

Though you cannot go over to a friend’s place, you still can watch a new show with them. All you need to do is pick a show from an interesting genre and watch it at the same time. Once you are done watching an episode or two, you can audio or video call your friends and share the moments of shock, happiness and laughter. It will help you stay connected even after maintaining the required social distance.

Plug-in your earphones, play some good music and walk around in your house, terrace or backyard. Spending some time in open space will help you calm down. It will also help in relieving the anxiety that has been caused due to the disruption in your daily schedule. You may even meet your neighbours in the balcony, ask about their well-being. Assure them that things will be fine soon.

This can be the best time for you to pick up your phones and enjoy your hobby of playing games. There are various online platforms that let you and your friends play games together, even after being in different places. To make the games even more fun, you can add multiple people. Split them into teams to make the game competitive and more exciting.

Dr. SIBANANDA MISHRA

Dr. SIBANANDA MISHRA

Psychology
25 Years of Experience

Geetika Kapoor

Geetika Kapoor

Psychology
12 Years of Experience

Nishtha Narula

Nishtha Narula

Psychology
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Kamna Chhibber

Dr. Kamna Chhibber

Psychology
13 Years of Experience

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