How To Survive Being Alone During CMCO
by The Mind Faculty
Living alone can be especially difficult during the CMCO. We are wired to crave human contact and interaction (even the most introverted of us). A lack of connection can take a toll on our physical and emotional health. Studies link loneliness with a higher chance of developing depression, dementia and heart disease.
It is important for us to manage our mental health during this period. Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Here are some steps you can take to ride out this period of isolation:
Stay in contact with your loved ones.
Feeling lonely diminishes our capacity for self-regulation – our ability to control our emotions and our behaviours. Without anyone to judge us for binge-watching another series of Friends or opening that second bottle of wine, we may adopt unhealthy habits that make us feel good in the moment but have a negative impact on our mental health.
Have a list of people you can reach out to when you are feeling low. Set up a weekly game night with a group of friends. Create a buddy system with your best friend to check in with each other everyday.
Set a routine
When you are living by yourself, it’s easy for breakfast to turn into lunch and dinner to turn into an all-night snack fest. Set your alarm clock. Get up at the same time every morning. Create daily rituals for yourself to look forward to: whether this is making your favourite cup of tea in the morning, slathering essential oils on your body during your yoga practice or rewarding yourself with a few hours of Sims 4 after a hard workday. Routine will give shape to your day and anchor you in time.
Learn how to tolerate your distress
There will be moments when living alone may be feel too much. It can be something small that sets you off. Having to slay that huge spider living in your bathroom. Or open a jar of sambal that appears to be sealed with super glue. These small moments can make you feel that you are really alone despite your self-care routines.
Here is how we can sit with our distress without becoming overwhelmed by it:
Accept the distress that you are feeling. Instead of trying to suppress it or distract yourself from it (whether it’s watching TV or cracking open a beer), commit to sitting with it.
Notice where the distress shows up. Is it a feeling in your body? Or is it a physical sensation such as tense shoulders or a queasy stomach? Keep observing this feeling until it subsides. Take deep breaths if you find it hard to shift.
Turn your attention back to a task in the present moment. This could be stretching for 5 minutes at your desk or rearranging the apps on your home screen.
Expect that distressing feeling to return. But know that by learning to sit with it, you are teaching yourself that you are strong enough to handle it.
Reach out for help
This can be a particularly difficult time for those suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges. We are continuously looking for ways to make our services more accessible to our community without compromising our commitment to high quality, compassionate care. Please have a look at TMF Academy if you are looking for affordable therapy services.
The Mind Faculty is a mental health clinic in Kuala Lumpur. We offer psychiatric, psychological and counselling services. During the CMCO, we are offering online and in-person sessions. Contact us to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org