Tips for Coping with Isolation and Loneliness


While recovering from addiction, many individuals tend to feel a sense of loneliness. Complications from social distancing measures and a general lack of in-person “interconnectedness” has further entangled the challenge of recovery; now, the already isolating process of rehabilitation can become abjectly lonesome for some.

However, the consequences of the pandemic do not necessarily mean that individuals struggling with feelings of isolation have no resources to turn to. While many outlets of social interactivity have been postponed, others make the walk of solidarity through rehabilitation much more manageable—and in some ways, even more accessible than before.

Virtual Correspondence

Much of the new influx of loneliness is a result of the limited social interaction available in pandemic times. With a lack of in-person support options—group meetings, many inpatient facilities, psychologists, etc.—it may seem that solitude is inevitable through 2020. Online correspondence options seek to change this disadvantage. Admittedly, the option is not the same as before.

Spending quality time with friends, family, and loved ones is made less feasible through an online call, but having the opportunity to stay connected with loved ones can help. It may be hard in terms of your recovery, but speaking to those who care about you on a regular basis can gradually mend feelings of loneliness. For those individuals fortunate enough to be able to see those closest to them, socially-distanced hangouts are somewhat possible—depending on your state.

Fortunately, however, the lack of interactivity over the virtual format is offset by its breadth of possibilities. Those close to one another can call practically at any hour, connecting large groups of people that was not formally possible in person.  And even if one does not have access to loved ones over the internet or an established support system, a huge amount of online support groups have popped up in the wave of Coronavirus-pandemic measures.

Many Alcoholics Anonymous and other anonymous support groups continue to meet online, in spite of the hardship through the virtual format. Communicating, in general, is a key to coping with isolation regardless of pandemic restrictions. One-on-one communication with a psychologist or even a close family member or friend can prevent further uncertainty in one’s life.

Using This Time as an Opportunity

Ultimately, the restraint of social interaction can dramatically change how effectively it helps one’s condition. If looking at your phone, laptop, or any devices for too long is upsetting or non-effective, it may be helpful to reconsider how to treat this unprecedented break in your day-to-day life.

For many affected by the extended turbulence caused by the Coronavirus, turning to a new hobby or a long-awaited creative endeavor is finally possible. This can be helpful in a lot of ways: a sense of achievement, boosted mood, aid while participating in therapy (amongst others). But it also enables individuals to meet like-minded people with the same interests.

Even if their discussions take place over forums online or over Zoom, it’s now more possible than ever to engage with a new hobby and community. Some options include:

  • Working out
  • Cooking
  • Surfing
  • Biking / Taking a walk
  • Origami
  • Scrapbooking
  • Puzzles
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Drawing / Painting
  • Knitting
  • Yoga

Indulging in new activities is a great way to make the most of the imposed isolation. There are copious amounts of online classes—many of which are either instructed by college professors, are free to enroll in, or both—that teach a specific skill.

Another relevant activity to participate in is meditation. It takes advantage of having the ability to be isolated from the rest of the world and asks participants to look inward to understand the world around them. Especially during the tumultuous time through rehabilitation and certainly while self-quarantined, meditation is a great way for people to learn more about themselves.

If you are feeling lonely and having trouble coping, it is important to reach out for help.

Do you believe that you or a loved one are suffering from a substance use disorder? Talk to our experienced addiction professionals by calling (844) 978-1524

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