Are You Self-Isolating Out of Fear?
Do you find that even if you feel like connecting, that you stop yourself?
Do you decline invitations in person or virtually, eat and spend most of your day alone and find the thought of being social too daunting? If so, it is critical to figure out why. Many people trying to be safe and responsible or who have trouble connecting to begin with find it hard to reach out. How do I do this? What can I say? As time goes on it gets harder. And life becomes less about the joy that connection brings us as social animals and more about drudgery, duties, and tasks. My concern is that long term isolation can lead to depression, addiction, anxiety, mood swings, self-harm, and that people want to hear from you. And if you struggle, then so many of us professionals, books and resources are here and want to help you. Connection and reaching out is hard right now. It’s easy to slip off our radar and for many it’s easier to stay in their cocoon. Reaching out to connect feels hard. (Please scroll below for suggested resources)
If you fear that you have lost the ability to engage in meaningful conversations with others or will be subjected to the virus every time you leave the house, it is important to face the fear. Fear is normal. Take small steps, small bites to reach out, to join even a virtual gathering by video.
Humans are Social CreaturesOur human brains are wired for connection so social isolation can become a healthy hazzard. We rely on each other, exchange knowledge and share community. Socially isolating means you are cut off from Human C – What Dr. Hallowell calls, the Other Vitamin C – Human Connection. Lack of human connection removes you from the resources you need, and can land you in a fatigue that is hard to extract yourself from.
Signs of Social Withdrawal
- Not calling anyone or answering your phone
- Not engaging with others even when invited
- Staying indoors all day and night
- Justifying working from home as a reason to hide indoors
- Shooting quick texts and emails rather than having a live conversation
- Becoming critical or even angry at others’ beliefs, behaviors, sanitary measures, etc.
- Refusing to allow children or family members to socialize in-person
- Increased anger, depression, guilt, boredom
Healthy Social Suggestions:
- Don’t keep your thoughts inside. Discuss your concerns with a trusted family member, friend or professional
- Take a chance and start a conversation with someone new.
- Join a social app, Meetup, chat, etc. to share your thoughts and communicate with like-minded people
- Try to avoid the news or discussions that center solely around COVID-19
- Get outside! Look at the sky, breath fresh air, take a walk
- Practice meditation or yoga to develop deep thinking and focus
- Try to figure out why you are reclusive without judging
Social Skills Deeper Dive
More actionable advice, exercises and videos can be found in the StoreHow to Coach Your Child – Kids need good role models. Skills like listening and communication are critical. This exclusive program for parents teaches how to coach your kids for life. Adults with ADHD Social Skills Training: How to Get Along with Everyone – 2-Part Seminar with Caroline Maguire – Starting December 7, 2021 Rusty Social Skills Bundle – Everything you need to help students return to the classroom for the development of critical social skills. Coaching Conversations Video Course – How to use the lessons in Why Will No One Play with Me? in everyday life using real people and real scenarios From “Hi” to a Full Conversation – How to adapt conversation starters to initiate small talk. Joining a group Infographic – Make joining a group less intimidating – and more fun! Building a Conversation Infographic – Learn how to engage in reciprocal give-and-take Steps for Joining a Group Video – Step by step details to comfortably and successfully join a group How to Read the Room as an Adult – Managing perceptions and engaging successfully Why Will No One Play with Me? How to SEL – HOW TO help children build social skills How to Help the Socially Awkward Kid
Connection is a Verb
Encourage Social Skills Development
Keep the Social in Social Distancing