We might be into our third week of social distancing but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s getting any easier and you know what: it’s ok to feel like you’re still adjusting. The situation we’re in is new to everyone but that doesn’t mean we all adapt in the same way, so it’s important to remember to be kind and patient with yourself while transitioning to the new ‘normal’.
In fact, you may find that your feelings have changed again over the last few days. It’s only natural: sunshine, lighter evenings and the upcoming bank holiday could lead to feelings of disappointment at the thought of cancelled plans and being unable to spend time with friends and family. We may find feelings of loneliness creep back in. And it’s also normal to be feeling this way even if you’re living with a partner, friends or family. Remember, feeling lonely and being alone are two different things.
When feelings like this arise try to remember you’re not alone, it is temporary and, by following the advised social distancing guidelines, you are part of a huge group of people who are uniting together to protect the health and safety of others all over the UK, which is an incredible thing to be involved in.
Despite this, taking action to help reduce any feelings of loneliness and anxiety is important for your health and wellbeing. To help, here are some suggestions for feeling close to your loved ones during the Easter weekend:
Organise a Sunday lunch
Many of us will be missing out on a family lunch this Sunday, but distance doesn’t need to get in the way of connecting with our loved ones. Why not get together with friends and family for a digital dinner over Skype, Houseparty or FaceTime? You could even share a menu of delicious dishes so that you’re all able to enjoy the same food as if you were together. Not only will this give you something positive to look forward to, but cooking is a great distraction which can be therapeutic for many.
Create an Easter challenge
Being creative can help to reduce anxiety and stress by giving you an outlet to express your feelings. And, there’s no reason why you can’t include others by setting up a creative Easter challenge. Whether you fancy your hand at egg painting, a seasonal bake off or a bonnet-making session, this is a great way of focusing your thoughts on a positive activity with friends and family.
Make the weekend count
This weekend you most likely will have had plans to do something special and, despite the current situation, you should still aim to set the bank holiday apart from your daily routine. As time goes on it can increasingly feel like each day merges into one another, which is why it’s a good idea to plan something different that you can look forward to.
Whether it’s taking your bike out on a new route, setting yourself a photography challenge during a sunny walk, starting a new book you’ve not got round to, or dedicating a couple of hours to pampering yourself, including something new into your weekend will help to make it feel more special.
Forgo the tech for something more personal
Not all of us feel comfortable being on video and many may feel anxious that, because life has changed over the past few weeks, we don’t have anything exciting to say to friends or family. But, staying connected doesn’t have to happen via digital devices. Why not encourage your loved ones to pop their names into a hat for you all to pick one? Then challenge yourselves to create something special to send to them over the next few days such as a letter, poem, drawing, or lyrics from your favourite song. Not only will this distract you over the long weekend, but you’ll also have something to look forward to the following week when the post arrives.
As well as trying out one of the above activities, it’s important that if you’re struggling to come to terms with your feelings, loneliness or anxiety, you seek support and speak to someone. Online therapy can provide you with the guidance and advice you need to manage how you’re feeling, all from the comfort of your own home. Remember, you’re never truly alone.