Globally, we are all encouraging people to stay safe from the virus by staying home, limiting contact with people, wearing masks at all times, and keeping all of our surroundings fully sanitized. Though we are right to praise this behavior, we aren’t talking about the symptoms of following these guidelines; those who are staying safe are also facing increasing feelings of loneliness and restlessness as time goes on, which has a huge impact on our mental health and the health of our families. Today, we’ve put together some ways to combat these bouts of restlessness and stay feeling productive and present as we wait this out – for ourselves as well as our elderly loved ones.
- Meet new people. The best way to combat loneliness is reach out and connect with our loved ones – but even farther than just shared movie streaming and Zoom with friends, we have created many ways to even meet new people online! For us, there is everything from apps like Bumble creating a whole feature for new friends, to Facebook groups connecting people in the same area/with the same interests, or even apps like Tandem where you can talk to people internationally and exchange languages, and for our elderly loved ones there are Facebook groups and phone lines so that everyone has someone to talk to. No matter where we are, there are ways for us extroverts to cure our social drought and make many new connections every day.
- Take a course. Not only is this also a way to meet and talk to new people, taking a course jumpstarts our brains out of the fog of the repetitive schedules we have for ourselves and allows us to feel inspired, driven, and excited about learning something new. Take a language course finish a degree you started years ago while you set up a loved one with how to art or craft videos in the next room – there are so many online college degrees available, as well as free tutorials on Youtube and other sites!
- Move physically. Even if you can’t move anything else in your life around, you can always move your body. Go on a run, do an online program, or join with friends outside to motivate each other – this is also important for our elderly parents who are not able to go on long walks because of the weather, just a simple dance party in the living room can work wonders for our bodies and our minds.
- Go on a trip. Sometimes nothing can beat the real thing – when you’re really restless, sometimes the only thing that will cure it is a getaway trip! Get your family together and go on a drive – whether it’s a weekend away in a cabin a state away or just a day trip to somewhere new, getting away from the same environments can be the refresh we need.
- Real rest. Many people who struggle with restlessness don’t know how to rest properly and live on a constant cycle of hard work and not fully resting; schedule time into your life to have deep, quiet, real rest. When you set aside time to really invest in yourself, you may be surprised that you don’t feel as unsettled the next day – you may find yourself even more productive than before!
No matter what your life looks like now, you don’t have to submit to living the same day over and over again. Try a new kind of food, watch movies in another language and try to pick out new words to use, Zoom call someone new, and don’t lose your curiosity – there will always be unknowns to explore in life.