Dear Barb—Isolated Issues

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am going crazy! I have been self isolating for weeks. I am a single person and normally I like my own company, but this is getting to be too much. I am doing everything I can to keep busy; I work in a clothing store so I can’t work from home. I have read all the books on my list, watched all the Netflix I had intended to, finished my puzzle and now what do I do? I go for walks numerous times a day. I used to take my dog with me but now when I ask if she wants to go for a walk she runs away and hides, so I go by myself. Some mornings when I wake up my feet are aching. I used to wonder why, I figured it out and it’s all the walking. I talk to my family and friends as much as I can, but since none of us are doing anything, there is really nothing to talk about.

My stress level is escalating, as I’m sure are most people. I know you are probably in the same boat as the rest of us, but maybe you would be able to offer some suggestions on how we can keep our sanity throughout this pandemic? Thanks, Carly.

Hi Carly:

Thanks for your letter. Yes, we are all in the same situation if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. It is difficult to be isolated and even more difficult if you are alone. If you are with your family, at least you have someone to talk to, or get on your nerves at times. Carly you seem to have done everything within the first few weeks and now you need to pace yourself, which means create a daily schedule of things you want to accomplish. This will give your life some routine and something to look forward to. Walking is good, physical activity and will relieve some of the stress, but have certain times to walk. For example, go for a walk each morning and evening, and maybe only take your dog on one of these walks. It is extremely important to stay in touch with family and friends. Even if you touch base every few days, just to make sure everyone is coping. ┬áIf you have a vehicle and are able to get out shopping, offer to pick up a few things for neighbors or family who are not able to get out. Leave the items outside their door and have them etransfer the money to you. It’s also very important that you not spend a lot of time watching the news. You need to keep up to date, but don’t bombard yourself with negative information. Try to watch the news in the morning and in the evening, that will be enough time to keep you updated on any new developments. It is essential that we all remember this is temporary and will end and we will get our lives back. So Carly stay positive and be kind to others.