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.
- Reach out to family and friends: virtually, by phone even write a letter!
- Get a pet
- Join a club
- Sign up for visits with your health practitioner
- 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