Isolation can take a toll on mental health—here’s how to keep a check on your friends and family

With lockdowns and quarantines taking place globally, families have to stay in their homes all day long. As a father who had been working round the clock, honestly, the lockdown felt like a sigh of relief; but only in the first couple of days.

Locked down in your own house with your entire family is not as appeasing as it sounds on social media these days. It’s all fun and games until everyone gets fed up and starts thinking “what’s next now?” Kids generally want to be left to their rooms with their phones. They don’t want family time together playing card games or watching TV shows together.

The first few days or even a week of the lockdown was interesting for most of us. We finally got that break we wanted from commuting every single day to work. For many, it was a moment of relief for their burnout.

But week 2 into the lockdown; things change. All those family activities that you could do together are now already repeated a couple of times so you don’t want to do them over and over again. By this time, everyone wants to stay in their rooms all day long except for the food breaks. Remember that every person’s reaction to isolation is different. For introverts, that’s a vacation. For extroverts, it’s like a jail so much of their energy goes into resisting the urge to step outside.

But most importantly. It’s the people who had been experiencing issues with mental health that needs our help the most. It could be your child, a friend, or your spouse.

The thing with mental illness is, it’s hard to figure out if someone is going through a rough patch. You could never really tell if a person smiling during the day is not crying in bed at night. Sometimes, people experiencing mental health issues take too long to ask for help and many times they don’t until it’s too late.

But it’s easier when you see a person regularly. With a lockdown, you definitely see more of your family members, so there’s a chance you could figure out if someone is having a bad day. But with the lockdown in place, isolation can take a toll on your friends’ mental health since you guys aren’t seeing each other in person and may not talk in many days.

However, there are still many ways you could look out for friends and family members who aren’t with you.

  1. You might be video calling but do this too

Video calling each other is the new norm of socializing while the entire world is in lockdown. But rather than using group video calling, try one-on-one sessions with your family and friends who you think are vulnerable. It’s good to have a group video session as it could save you time but your friends who you used to go out, have dinner with, or spend time with on regular basis still want that. And there’s a very good chance that your very dear friend might be upset or depressed because they can’t have that alone time with you.

When you video call, do these things:

  • Don’t just video call but ask. Keep your video calling sessions real. Talk to them how they are feeling about the lockdown and isolation. If the lockdown had been taking a toll on your health too, let that out. If that feeling is mutual, you two would connect even better.

Ask them if they are feeling sad or depressed. One-on-One video sessions could get very intense.

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