Note: This article was written for the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) in response to COVID-19 and was originally published on Psychology Today. A portion of it is reposted here with the permission of HDI. A link to the full post can be found below.
Though necessary to preserve physical health (both ours and those around us), social distancing takes a toll on our emotional health. And if you are already struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or other mental health concerns, then social distancing itself may cause a threat to your personal health.
Social distancing inherently makes it harder to access needed support (like close relationships, support meetings, going to the gym, maintaining a structured work/life schedule, financial stability, etc.), and it makes it easier to rely on short-term coping skills (e.g., binging on Netflix) that are less effective and sustainable in the long-term. It may even invite people to neglect self-care altogether (e.g., staying in bed, not showering, sedentary living, relapse “without consequence” or accountability, etc.). Precisely because emotional difficulties tend to thrive in social isolation, it is all the more important that we intentionally care for ourselves.
- A Healthy Distance? Caring for your whole self while social distancing - April 24, 2020
- Ice-Breakers (The Importance of Being Average) - February 19, 2020