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Soothing for an Anxious Time: Being Alone Can Be Hard

April 16, 2020
Published in: COVID-19, Mental Health

Senior woman talking on phone with her eyes closed

One of the side effects of Social Distancing is that people who live alone can become even more isolated. When people who live alone are very socially connected and have lots of technical ability to visit friends and family using virtual means (computers, phones, tablets) they can tolerate this "Shelter in Place" time fairly well. And there are a few people who actually enjoy alone time and feel quite nourished by it. If they have a phone they can connect with family and friends as needed.

But there are people in our lives and in our communities who are particularly isolated. They may even have a phone that is not a "smart" phone but rather an emergency phone that has limited minutes on it. They can be very lonely in ordinary times and even lonelier during these times.

One thing that we can do if we know someone who is extremely isolated is to write them a letter letting them know that we are thinking of them. We can include a self-addressed return envelope with postage on it so that they can easily reply if they would like to do so. We can suggest resources that would be available to them if they need help.

If the isolated person has a phone we can give her a call and check in and ask if there is anything that she needs. Then we could try to help her figure out the best way to address those needs.

Reaching out to others who are particularly isolated in ways that are safe can be extremely meaningful to them and it can lift our spirits to help someone. It's a true "Win-Win" situation. In the midst of this difficult time there are numerous stories of generosity and kindnesses. We can be a part of that effort simply by writing a letter to someone who would love to hear from us or to someone who needs to know that someone out there is thinking about them.

Be Mindful and be safe.