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Life During Quarantine #6: The Effects of Isolation

We have been home for a long time. Away from our normal routines, schools, friends, and families in some cases. Question: what does this alone time mean to you? Socially distanced, most folks, especially those who live alone have deeply felt the loss of companionship that often filled their days. One theory discusses how isolation shifts our neurons in sensory and motor parts. What your personality type is can be the crucial factor in understanding how one copes with isolation. There is a big difference in how introverts handle this situation versus an extrovert.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world and pushed major economies into a tailspin. Beyond those impacts, almost all of us will face psychological challenges—trying to maintain a responsible social distancing regimen without sliding into psychological isolation and loneliness. Why might introverts find isolation easier to deal with than extraverts? Most obviously, they tend to be less motivated by social engagement.”

People high in conscientiousness, who are more organized, less distractible, and also more adaptable, will find it easier to set up and stick to a structured daily schedule, as many experts recommend. People high in agreeableness, who tend to be polite, compassionate, and cooperative, will be better equipped to negotiate life in the pockets of family members or housemates. People high in openness to experience, who tend to be curious and imaginative, will likely become absorbed in books, music, and creative solutions to the humdrum of lockdown. In contrast, people high in neuroticism, who are more susceptible to stress and negative emotions than their more stable peers, will be most at risk for anxiety and depression during these challenging times.

Those with more vulnerable personalities can thrive with the right resources and social support. Let’s look at the feelings of loneliness before the pandemic.

Last year, a Pew Research Center survey of more than 6,000 U.S. adults linked frequent loneliness to dissatisfaction with one’s family, social, and community life. About 28 percent of those dissatisfied with their family life feel lonely all or most of the time, compared with just 7 percent of those satisfied with their family life. Satisfaction with one’s social life follows a similar pattern: 26 percent of those dissatisfied with their social lives are frequently lonely, compared with just 5 percent of those who are satisfied with their social lives. One in five Americans who say they are not satisfied with the quality of life in their local communities feel frequent loneliness, roughly triple the 7 percent of Americans who are satisfied with the quality of life in their communities. “Lacking encouragement from family or friends, those who are lonely may slide into unhealthy habits,” Valtorta says. “In addition, loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep, and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety.

Five things that can help with isolation according to Harvard health.

  1. Reach out to family and friends: virtually, by phone even write a letter!
  2. Get a pet
  3. Join a club
  4. Sign up for visits with your health practitioner
  5. This one is for the elderly if you can’t get to your doctor appointments please look at eldercare.gov.

Or call or email or Facebook me with any of your questions! Thanks

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Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBAhttp://www.designertastes.com/
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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2 CONVERSATIONS

  1. This concerning solitude is undoubtedly a problem, especially when it is so prolonged. And, in fact, it was and is a topic very much discussed in conversations, on newspapers, on TV.
    I am fortunate (from what I feel, I must think that it is a privilege) not to suffer of loneliness, indeed, I must confess, I have almost always appreciated it. I’ve never been an asocial, far from it. But I always liked the moments of solitude. Perhaps because I have always been committed to something, even if only reading, writing, thinking, observing. I also remember thinking that, after all, one must also train to solitude, since sooner or later everyone may have to face it and, perhaps, also coincide with moments when you are not self-sufficient.
    Even Giacomo Leoperdi has talked about this: loneliness is like a magnifying glass: “if you are alone and you are well you are very well, if you are alone and you are ill you feel terrible”.
    Perhaps a person who manages to feel good on his own is a person who has learned to know himself and, above all, to accept himself. He learned to face his ghosts of the past, to love himself, even without a person next to him. It takes a lot of strength to be able to love your loneliness. Perhaps, only when loneliness has been experienced, and when it has become a faithful company rather than an enemy, do you start to value your time. We no longer surround ourselves with false presences. We no longer compromise with ourselves. We do not resign ourselves to a swinging presence that makes us feel really
    Brava CYNTHIA , article and interesting question, which makes us think.

    • Wow, I really appreciate your comment! I too can be happily introverted or ecstatically extroverted, what matters to me most is having a balance of both. I have had the pleasure of attending Zoom calls from the MIT Sloan school and that subject was touched upon. Having many senior friends and a few who had hospital stays during quarantine and another’s whose experience with a knee surgery has him in a nursing home and now dear friends cant visit. Isolationthough in the past was the story of military outposts and explorers has become part of the Covid-19 journey. Thank you!

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