ISOLATION IN A CONNECTED WORLDJan 06, 2023
We kick off Season 2 of the 'Under the Rug' Podcast on the topic of 'Post Lockdown Isolation'. We talk about the damaging effects of long term isolation, navigating a disconnected social media landscape, and provide some practical steps that you can take to break free from the confines of isolated living.
Let’s backtrack over the last few years for a moment...
Covid hits and then lockdowns kick in around the world. We see a global push for people to stay home and therefore stay safe. This in turn, has programmed us to come to terms with and accept separation from loved ones, colleagues and our community, which has now become our normal.
What was rammed down our throats during a global pandemic, was that isolation equates to safety. And yes, within the confines of a pandemic, it was evidenced that it slowed the spread.
However, there hasn’t been a global drive to bring people back together post-Covid..Mmm and whilst this may sound cynical,I wonder if it’s because the more time we spend isolated, the more time we spend online, and the more money we SPEND…
Even businesses are moving away from the office setup to more home-based work, which may be great for their bottom line as they don’t have to pay for corporate offices etc… but is it healthy for team building, social interaction and the ensuring of health and wellness within their staff? As Entrepreneurs and Business Owners, I share my husband and I’s observations on this matter in today’s episode. (Watch on Youtube or listen right here). Please note that not all decisions made post Covid are conducive to future health and growth and it’s important to take a step back, evaluate and make the necessary changes.
The scary thing is, in our post Covid era, many have remained in isolation which has actually resulted in DEPENDENCE. At the start of today’s episode, we delve into the distinction between being isolated and being independent. (Watch on Youtube or listen right here).
As a Life Coach, I have discovered three primary areas that are impacted by isolation, which can lead to much deeper issues if left unaddressed.
Primary Impact of Isolation
I'm talking above the loss in social skills. The less time spent with face to face human contact, the more detached and abrasive we become. Why? We say things online that we would never say to someone face to face. This in turn makes us harder to connect with, less appealing to be around, for some, the thought of being in the room with other people induces such fear, which again, only promotes greater isolation.
The more time spent in isolation, cooped up at home, the more you begin to see a reduction in physical exercise, which leads to lack of sleep and then what unravels with it, is a whole army of issues.
What do we do when cooped up? We binge on TV Shows and of course, food! Let’s face it, we generally aren’t stuffing our gobs with spinach… We’re talking full blown bindge-fest on comfort food… the pizzas, the pastas, the ice cream, the Doritos and dip… the foods that make us feel good in the moment. Till of course we begin to visually see the effects of binging on our scales, when then leads us on that downward spiral in our mental and emotional health and then the need of retail therapy kicks in!
We sign up to that online gym and nutrition app or we clear the garage for the newly purchased gym equipment. We buy all the shakes and bars and our spend is on the up. Quite often, outside of our budget.
Then we get smashed with higher interest rates and fuel prices… so now, we couldn't’ afford to go out even if we wanted to.
When the above primary areas impacted by isolation are not addressed, they can lead to the following:
Secondary Impact of Isolation:
1. Mental & emotional health issues
Such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. More detailed examples are covered in the following article written by Health Direct.
2. Substance abuse
Such as alcohol, prescription medication, drugs… all of which, numbs the pain for the short-term. It’s an escape but it's not a long-term solution.
3. Chronic conditions
Induced by lack of nutrition and exercise, leads to heart pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Then of course, we have the chronic condition induced by the lack of social interaction which results in the breakdown of relationships, which in turn leads to heartbreak.
What are some practical steps for someone impacted by isolation? Well before you are ready to take any steps, your desire to break free from the grip of isolation must exceed your willingness to tolerate it. If that’s you, then keep reading.
It’s important to delete the concept that isolation is good for you because it is not.
The only reason isolating was pushed on a global scale was because of a global pandemic.
'Why hasn’t there been a global push to get us all back out there?' you ask.
Mmm… good question. I give you my brutally honest thoughts on this in today’s episode so don’t miss it!!
If you are battling with post-lockdown isolation and have reached the point where you WANT to be free and you’re not willing to tolerate things as they are, then this is for you:
Steps to break free from Post Lockdown Isolation:
- Visit your Doctor. Don’t book a Telehealth appointment. Instead, physically go and see him/her. I went to see my Doctor. He did a full checkup and then put me on a mental health care plan which included a referral to a psychologist.
- If your Doctor provides you with a referral for a psychologist/counselor, then get it booked in! Even if it’s three years ago, book that appointment. In the mean time:
- Curb your time spent online (outside of work).
- Cut up those credit cards and stop spending on rif-raf. It’s time to start prioritizing your well-being.
- Go for a short walk and while you’re out, consciously take deep breaths in. Be aware of the fresh air, allow the sun to kiss you and if you’re in the snow, allow the cold to tantalize your lips.
- Catch up for coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You don’ have to talk about your struggles. Focus on them! As you interact and reacquaint yourself with face to face connection, you will begin to feel reinvigorated and more like your old self.
As I bring this blog to a close, Here’s a few questions I want you to ponder on. As you do, they may just spark that excitement and anticipation to bring about some change.
- What were some things that you used to do pre-Covid that would reinvigorate you?
- What are some activities pre-Covid that you miss?
- What is one step that you can take this week to start the process of breaking out of post lockdown isolation?
In closing, I want to address two groups of people:
if you are battling with post lockdown isolation, it’s time to take a step. Whether it's picking up the phone to book that appointment with your Doctor, or whether it's putting on those shoes to go for that walk, it’s time to do something. So come on precious one. You are well able.
If my suggested steps are too confronting for you, then you are also welcome to reach out to me directly and share as much or as little detail as you like. ❤️
If you are a Business Owner or Manager and you’ve listened to today’s episode and have come to realize that the ‘work from home’ model is not working for your team, but you need help in making the necessary shift to regroup and create a healthy work-place environment, then feel free to lock in a time with me so we can discuss your needs further.
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