What Can We Learn from Self-Isolation

In the 1900s, an English novelist E.M.Foster wrote a short science fiction story called The Machine Stops. This radical narrative imagines a future world where most of the human population lives in the isolation of indoor, barely see the sun, and the only communication is made via a kind of instant messaging machine.

Sounds familiar?

Hundred years passed after the work was published, and the dystopian future arrived with the face of COVID-19. This story is not fictional anymore, it is a non-voluntarily chosen reality. In light of the novel virus, millions of people are isolated from their beloved ones, communicate through digital devices and rarely spend some time outdoor. The pandemic has changed a lot about the way we live.

However, that might have started much earlier. Over the past few decades, social media have become a constant presence for most of us. And even though it might be extremely useful for us today, the overuse of it can severely limit our happiness.

Every Instagram post, Telegram funny message, or Facebook comment floods your brain with dopamine and make you addicted, as you get accustomed to the regular hits of stimulations. The internet addiction can weaken our relationships and friendships — says neurologist David Perlmutter.

After four weeks of self-isolation now, I figured, I need to be more grateful for connections I have, meditate more, and stay connected with surroundings.

Keep Connections Meaningful

While coping with social distancing and self-isolation, the interconnectivity and relationships are still crucial to sustain us and provide resilience against stress. So, keep connections meaningful.

When you feel supported and cared for within the context of loving relations with your family, friends or partner, your community, you are more likely to flourish, and it seems it may be becoming a new kind of art. Just a quick look: we are all experimenting in all sorts of ways in how we can meaningfully gather today. The self-isolation became a kind of forcing mechanism for creativity: in bringing up — yoga-classes, dance classes, “water-cooler talks” and other physical gatherings — online. Find your way to connect and build deep relationships with others, there is no other way but be creative.

Your True Companion

Being pushed to live alone, we have a real challenge of learning how to become a true companion to ourselves. It seems, being all alone is a horrifying idea, so people will do anything to avoid it. Instead, take advantage of it. When you are by yourself, you make choices without outside influences, discover your truth, and take time for self-observation. The search into your soul requires solitude. Delve into it!

By observing more and giving yourself some time, you can also get a better understanding of your own emotions by clearing it and allowing more space for peace, increase your self-knowledge, and finally, establish good mental habits for yourself that will boost your happiness.

Reconnect with Nature or Practice ‘Forest-Bathing’

Today, the majority of us live in cities. So it’s easy to forget how surrounding ourselves in the nature makes us happier and calmer. According to Dr. Miles Richardson, spending time taking notice of nature has a host of real and measurable improvements in our health. To put it simply, nature is good for us. But we already knew that, didn’t we? At a time when mental health is in the spotlight more than ever before, the need to spend time outside is even more crucial.

It’s been proven that Forest bathing or the Japanese ‘Shinrin-yoku’, a form of natural therapy, promotes wellness and emotional healing by simply taking you outdoor. The benefits of such practice are numerous, and might sound unreal, but take a stroll into the woods and notice how breathing fresh air and basking in sunlight improves your mood and general sleep-wake-cycle, reduces stress and aggression, and even improve your relationship skills in a long run.

But remember, it’s the act of taking notice of nature that is a key.

We all try to find the way how to deal with this new reality, look inside of yourself to seek for the right approach.

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Anna Chaplin

Anna Chaplin

Inspired by and in love with a perfect turn of phrase.