Let’s talk about isolation. The negative effects of isolation are rampant — they extend into the physical (such as increased inflammation or decreased sleep), mental (evidenced by depression or distraction), and emotional.
The emotional can often be the most challenging to wrap our minds around. It can be helpful to position the emotional impact through the context of regression. With new restrictions in place in light of the pandemic, the general public is forced into what feels like something of an adolescent existence. Think about it: for months we have not been able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant or a beverage at a bar — at its core, a night out is off limits.
In addition to these restrictions, there are perceived impositions — such as the insistence on wearing masks. The culmination of these restrictions and impositions yields a type of regression such that some people may feel their autonomy has been taken away. This incites a desire to rebel, as it is human nature to fight against restrictions. Couple this with the general pandemic climate and the emotional impact can be tremendous.
In addition to this possible adolescent regression, there is a tremendous wave of grief at present. The world feels tumultuous and — as cities open up and people regain their sense of freedom — there is even less certainty as to how to proceed.
To put it simply: nobody knows the rules.
Do we wear a mask when we’re out always? Should we just wear a mask when we’re waiting in line with others? What if the World Health Organization says one thing but the Governor says another… who is the authority?
While it can feel exciting to venture back into the world with phased re-openings, it can be anxiety-provoking. Confusion permeates as we explore some big questions: When will it be safe to be in public? What will make it safe? What will this new normal look like? It is stressful to not know what is coming.
With so much uncertainty, many of us are feeling lonely, isolated, or sad during this time. If you believe you are feeling any of these negative effects of isolation we recommend talking with one of our amazing, dedicated therapists to explore ways to self-soothe and adjust during this time. Not ready to commit to 1:1 sessions? Schedule a free consultation or start with our eBook to Prioritize Your Well Being Today.