When You Live Alone During A Quarantine

Hi friends!  Tiffany here, coming to you directly from my apartment where we find ourselves at the beginning of a 2 week “stay at home” order.  These are crazy times, aren’t they?  The psychological part of me finds it fascinating to know that we have a front-row seat to history unfolding before our eyes and watching how people respond to that and what might happen.  The human part of me is very ready for this to be done!

Life has changed dramatically for all of us over the past couple of weeks and will likely look very different for awhile.  Events like these have a way of leveling the playing field – we are all impacted, no one is immune, and there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.  In the midst of that, we have been asked here in Orlando to stay at home for 2 weeks to help calm the spread of the virus.

Many of you have a lot of challenges being at home.  Working from home can be much harder.  Your kids are home, and you have to worry about them doing their schoolwork in a different format and trying to keep them engaged.  All of those things and more are very difficult, and I can only imagine many of the frustrations so many of you are facing.

Today, however, I would like to focus this blog on a very specific sector of people – those of us who live alone.  How do you handle a quarantine when you live alone?  I am a pretty strong introvert, and with my job being to sit with people all day long, I definitely need down time, quiet time and time to recover.  And yet, working from home this week has felt like the longest week of my life and our stay at home order just started last night!

I am craving the presence of others – online or over the phone is not the same – and I am a big hugger, so I am going slightly crazy with not having had any hugs in awhile.  My poor cats are getting lots and lots of pats these days. 🙂  So how do we manage this season when we don’t have anyone else with us to pass the time?

A few ideas that have helped me…

  • Stay connected!  It’s not the same as physical presence, but reach out to others via phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc.  Texting is not enough.  You need to hear people’s voices and be connected as much as you can.  I am trying to reach out to at least 1 new person each day, along with my regular tribe.
  • Keep a routine.  Shower each day, do some exercising, actually walk outside and breathe the fresh, pollenated air…
  • Have daily goals.  I have had a list for each day of the few things I specifically wanted to accomplish.  That way I feel productive by getting them done AND it still gives me some down time to relax and be refreshed.
  • Tackle a project.  Anything you’ve been wanting to get to and haven’t had the time for?  Do a little bit every day and make some progress!
  • Ground yourself.  When you can’t have physical presence or physical touch – even a simple hug – it can be very hard to feel grounded.  Presence and touch both ground us.  Find new ways to ground yourself and be aware of your body.  Try some yoga.  See if you can describe what your feet feel like when they are touching the floor.  Hold your hands together and breathe while imagining the first thing you’ll do when this is all over.

Most of all, be kind to yourself.  This is hard.  Living by yourself in uncertain times is hard.  Reach out.  Ask for help.  Stay connected.  There are many of us in the same boat, and we get it.  We will get through this together and we will figure it out together.  Hang in there!  We are not alone!

We are offering sessions via secure video at Renew for the duration of this time until we feel it safe to get back to the office.  Please let us know how we can help support you.  We are here for you, and while we may not know exactly how all of this will unfold, we do promise that you won’t walk it alone.  Have a great weekend!

~Tiffany Jones, LMHC, Director of Renew

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