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Wellness

Coping With Loneliness In 2021 and Beyond

Let’s not act as Covid-19 has just affected our physical health – it has affected our emotional and mental well-being tremendously. It’s brought out these ugly emotions from deep inside of us that we would not have wanted to initially face or come to terms with. We have been repeating the same day over and over since March of last year and it can make you feel helpless. Not to mention the added stressors of turning our whole life upside down and quickly adapting ourselves to this “new normal.” So, yes, of course these feelings of loneliness, sadness, desperation and even anger are normal! Unfortunately, before the ongoing pandemic hit, as a society we rarely (if ever) talked about identifying when we are having uncomfortable emotions – let alone talk about how to deal with them.  

If you find yourself often feeling numb, helpless or just more detached from everyone and everything than usual, I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me the past year. 

 

Give In To The Inevitable

There will come more times in our lives when these emotions will appear whether we want them to or not – they just will. Choosing to suppress them, rather than realize what is happening and validating the emotions, will only drag you down further, making you feel even more lost. No one ever wants to be seen as weak, but remember that opening up about the ugliness we are feeling inside is the first step to releasing it. 

Express Gratitude

A lot of the time we let our emotions take over every single ounce of our mind and body that we forget to look at the bigger picture. I recommend writing down all you are grateful for when you wake up in the morning or when you’re getting ready for bed (or both!)  We get so caught up in what we are missing that we lose sight of what we have. However small it is we all have something that is here helping us push on – hold onto that and push to find more reasons to be grateful that you’re still hanging on! 

Physical Connection

I know that we are not all touchy-feely people, and with the pandemic raging on, hugging someone random doesn’t sound very smart! However, our bodies and our souls are craving physical touch. It is a basic need! Our bodies respond to physical touch and even if you have no one you’re comfortable with around to hold– hug yourself! Cradle you face in your hands, wrap your arms around your shoulders and place your hand over your heart or stomach. All of these exercises will mimic the physical touch that you so desperately crave – even if you don’t realize it! 

 

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Even after all of these tips, it is important to be aware that these feelings can be a part of a bigger and more serious problem. It is important to know your resources and realize when it may be time to talk to a professional. Always remember you are never alone in the fight through loneliness, even though it feels that way. You are loved and you are needed. We will get through this. 

If 2020 brought us one good thing it was the opportunity to work on ourselves in the areas we would have “never had time for.” These tips won’t work just for now, but rather the rest of our lives. Being able to be mindful and recognize how to cope with these feelings is a life skill that not many are familiar with, but it is something that should be given more attention than it is! 

Sitlali Cortes

Washington '23

Sitlali is a third year student at the University of Washington and intended communications major! She's from Yakima, Washington and when she's not busy with school or work you'll find her with friends and family! She also enjoys reading and writing poetry and making playlists.
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