Isolation and Mental Health
By Shania Hadaller
Have you ever thought about how good your mental health is? Do you ever feel menatlly isolated but not physically isolated? In a 2018 national survey, loneliness levels reached an all time high with 20,000 adults reporting they feel alone sometime or always feel alone.
One thing that makes you feel mentally isolated is when big changes are made in your life. One person who has struggled with mental isolation is Campbell Schultz. She recently moved away from her home to attend college. While at college she has struggled with depression and her mental state. Campbell has days where she wakes up and feels that it is going to be a rough day for her. When she feels like this Campbell said “I am always sure to push myself to get out of bed and get ready for my day.” Another thing Campbell does to stay mentally stable is work out often. While she may not like working out in the moment she always feels great afterwards.
The ongoing pandemic Covid-19 has had an effect on Campbells mental health also. She has been at college all by herself for three weeks. Not seeing people for three weeks has made her have to work extra hard to keep her mental state stable. She workouts everyday, goes for many walks, and has been eating a lot healthier to make herself feel good.
The pandemic has also affected Darin Bullock, but not in the same way as Campbell. Darin Bullock said “I do not feel mentally isolated”. Darin is a physical education teacher and was previously a health teacher. Going to school and learning about health and teaching it helped Darin when it came to his own health. Somethings Darin does to ensure his mental health is well is home improvement projects, cook on his traeger, workout, and play with his two-year old son. Doing activities that he enjoys makes it very easy for him to keep his mental stability well.
When thinking about your own mental health you should ask yourself if you have been enjoying activities that you normally like to do. If you are not enjoying these things then you probably feel depressed and mentally isolated. Having low energy, sleep problems, diet problems, or negative thoughts all are signs of deteriorating mental health. Everyone may feel lonely from time to time, but feeling lonely for long periods of time or feeling physically isolated when you are not actually isolated are also signs of bad mental health.
If you are feeling mentally isolated, you should try and find something to take your mind off being mentally isolated. You can look at Covid-19 as a bad thing because it can be making your mental health worse or you can think of it as a good thing. Because of Covid-19 you probably have more time on your hands. With the time on your hands you can keep busy by doing a household project. Keeping your mind busy is very important. You could also do a digital detox. Doing a digital detox can help you because the internet is filled with people who post a lot of negative stuff. Looking at negative stuff all the time is not good for you. Try setting aside a specific time for scrolling through social media and once that time is up then be done with electronics for the day.
Communicating with people when you are feeling down is also very important. Often people think that sharing their emotions is wrong and that they are going to be judged. Always be sure to reach out to someone if you are feeling lonely. Being lonely is not a fact, it is a feeling. When someone reaches out to you it kinda makes you feel loved. It lets you know that people trust you with their emotions in difficult times.
As you can see mental health is very important. If you ever feel isolated do not hesitate to reach out to a loved one or someone you trust and talk to them. Talking about your feelings will make yourself feel much better.