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  • Kim Wallmuller

You're not alone! There is help!

At one point or another, most of us have experienced feeling lonely. These feelings can be brought up when we have a loss of someone or an extreme change in our life. Our first reaction to this is to isolate ourselves, stay away from people and work through it ourselves. I am here to tell you that you don't have too!

There are so many programs out there for people who just need a break from whatever the life event may be. Reach out to your local community and google the type of help you need. If the place you reached out to doesn't provide the help you need, don't give up! There is always a way!

If you have the means to check on folks that are not able to get around or have to be isolated for whatever reason, try to send a note or call them and let them know someone cares and is thinking of them.

During the pandemic feelings of loneliness are amplified due to self-isolation from either catching the infection, suspected exposure or because you fall into the high-risk category or just due to an abundance of caution are isolating and you may find yourself unprepared for the feelings of loneliness that will likely follow.

While those with chronic illness may already be familiar with what it's like to face long periods of time alone at home, most of us are used to getting out daily; even those who are retired or don't work usually make trips to run errands or visit friends. To have all of that stop suddenly is jarring, to say the least.

For this reason, it's important to take care of your mental health during times of decreased social interactions.

It's normal to feel stress when faced with staying indoors and interacting less with people, especially when that's added to the underlying stress of worrying whether you'll catch the virus. These factors could increase your chances of developing a mental health issue, like anxiety or depression.

What's the best way to get through this period of isolation? There are many strategies that you can employ to ensure your well-being and good mental health. Most of these involve either finding ways to distract yourself (keep busy) or finding ways to connect with others (despite the circumstances).

What can you do?

  • Get help if you need it, we can't be strong all the time

  • Keep a routine, or make a new one that includes walking or exercise

  • Stay informed and don't listen to everything you hear. Check CDC or WHO websites, and turn off the TV for a few hours!

  • Go outside or open a window as fresh air helps improve clarity and immune system, as well as serotonin ( a happy hormone)

If you find yourself struggling with the change or mental health and aren't able to pull yourself out of feelings of anxiety, depression, or fear, it's important to reach out for help. Consider calling a crisis line or an online therapy service to find out about options that can help your situation.

Sponsored by Fox Cities Act of Kindness

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