Combating Isolation & Loneliness

During this time of social distancing, consider creative ways to fight isolation and loneliness which can worsen some mental health symptoms. Some tips include:

  • Check-in with loved ones: Call a neighbor or friend to check in on how they are doing. Send a text or note to friends and loved ones. Writing has been shown to help people feel less sad or upset.
  • Schedule a virtual "hangout": spend time in a virtual setting with friends or loved ones using an online video system such as FaceTime or Google Hangout. View a great step-by-step resource on how to use the technology.
  • Go for a walk: Simply getting outside for some fresh air and waving or greeting others from a safe distance can make a huge difference.
  • Lend a helping hand: If you are healthy, offer to run an errand for a neighbor who may need a little extra help. Helping others can help us feel connected and gives us a sense of purpose during this difficult time. Be mindful to wash your hands before and after the errand and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and the person you are helping. Even seemingly healthy people can transmit illnesses.
  • Use social media wisely: Social media can help us maintain connections to others, especially family and friends who live far away. Too much exposure, however, can make anxiety or depression worse. Be mindful of how much time on social media helps you feel connected and less alone versus overwhelmed.
  • Help older adults stay engaged: If you or a loved one is an older adult, check out Dartmouth's Council on Aging programming available to you. While our senior center is physically closed, the Dartmouth Council on Aging still offers a wide variety of social programming and health classes online. AARP is also offering a tele-friend program where older adults can connect to volunteers in their community.
  • Join a virtual support group: Connect with others who may be facing similar challenges and experiences - whether you are a parent, caregiver, an individual living with a behavioral health condition, or something else.