Effects of Social Isolation on Well-Being

Social Distancing, Covid

What comes to mind when you hear someone talking about social isolation?

Human beings are social creatures. By nature, humans identify with certain communities, live together, work on projects as a team, embrace each other during emotional moments, shake hands in agreement, lean on walls, etc.

But the “stay at home” phrase that evolved because of the pandemic has challenged human freedom. For most people, this three-word phrase weighs a lot.

I mean, if you go back in time, would you have imagined a year plus of social distancing, isolation, and minimal physical contact? Would you have thought that countries would close borders, impose curfews, and that you’d have to isolate a minimum of 14 days from arrival before interacting with your loved ones?

With governments imposing strict guidelines to curb covid infections, everyone- regardless of race, ethnicity and social status has had to adhere to mandatory social isolation rules and get confined at home.

Social distancing is stressful.  It has disrupted everyone’s way of life, income, and interactions resulting in serious cases of anxiety and depression. Apart from the stress arising from social isolation, the biggest worry- contracting covid or losing loved ones- is traumatic.

Although it’s gradually becoming a new normal, people’s quality of life has greatly deteriorated.  The pandemic has affected our mental health severely. More and more people are feeling lonely. Others end up overworking because they have nothing else to do.

A feeling of loneliness may lead to higher rates of anxiety and depression. To worsen the matter, it may trigger the thought of committing suicide especially for individuals suffering from diabetes, heart problems, and cognitive disorders.

People experiencing high levels of social isolation may engage in self-protective thinking. This in turn leads to a negative attitude affecting man-man interactions.

Social isolation has also led to a cut in economic flow. Resources like food and self-care products have become hard to get in a timely manner. This scarcity leads to a feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s home.

Other effects of social isolation are lack of sleep and a reduced immune function. All these affect people’s well-being.

Our well-being is very key regardless of the situation. It is important to make sure we feed off our thoughts by having positive thoughts about the future. Keep in mind, positivity creates room for healthy lives.

Please, be kind to your mind!

Reference: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-021-00710-3

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