6 ways to cope with social isolation during COVID-19

As we each do our part to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by practicing social distancing and staying home, many of us are experiencing boredom, anxiety or even social isolation.   “We’re all going to have a new normal for a while,” says Catherine Powers-James, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in our Integrative Medicine Center. “Try to be flexible and take it one day at a time.” Despite how different your days may look now, you can still connect with loved ones and find satisfaction in what you accomplish. Here, Powers-James shares advice on ways to reduce the emotional effects of social distancing and stay productive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay connected through virtual dates “Luckily, we live in an age of technology,” says Powers-James. With apps and software supporting mobile video chatting, you can connect with many people around the world from your device. And, because we’re spending more time at home, we have the time to check in more often. “Especially for people who live alone – trying to connect is very important,” says Powers-James. She suggests scheduling times to meet over video the same way you’d schedule an in-person get together. Also, many gyms and churches are offering online sessions, which allow you to stay connected with your community, even when you can’t be with them physically. MD Anderson is offering online support groups for patients, family members and friends so they can meet others facing similar challenges.   Schedule some “me” time With school closures and stay-at-home orders, many of us find ourselves home with our families more than ever. “We’re...