6 Emotional Stages of Coping With Social Distancing

Quarantine Life Crisis: 6 Emotional Stages of Social Distancing

As social distancing takes its toll, it's important to know where you are in these emotional stages.

Gone are the days when it seemed as if we could carry on as usual. For a majority of people, the prolonged lockdown is giving mixed emotions; and if there’s anything we’ve learned so far, it’s that dealing with the effects of the pandemic can be different for every person. And so, these are some of the emotional stages of social distancing — or, as we like to call it, a quarantine life crisis! 

1. Worry and panic over the lockdown

6 Emotional Stages of Social Distancing

More than the feeling of isolation at home, you might be worried about getting contaminated or possibly spreading the virus to your loved ones as an asymptomatic carrier. You fret over the rising count of infections and deaths. You feel troubled over not having enough masks, gloves, alcohol, and disinfectants to protect yourself. 

2. Fear of the unknown future

6 Emotional Stages of Social Distancing

Maybe you’re afraid of losing your job during this crisis. Maybe your savings are dwindling, and you don’t know how you’re going to pay your rent or buy food for the next few months. Maybe your businesses and investments are struggling due to changing economic conditions during the outbreak. 

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner or even a retiree, the consequences of social distancing can be felt across all walks of life. 

3. Wanting to stay productive

At first, you probably tried to de-clutter your closet and clean out your entire apartment. Maybe you had plans of exercising regularly, finishing your reading lists, learning a new skill, and keeping yourself busy during the quarantine. More importantly, you kept a positive attitude and remained optimistic in the face of sudden changes. 

Also read: How to Work From Home Productively, Without Losing Your Sanity 

4. Stress, anxiety, and depression

6 Emotional Stages of Social Distancing

Then you learned that the lockdown could be extended for much longer. Eventually, you realise that the effects of the pandemic on your life will linger, even after the quarantine is lifted. You don’t know exactly when this upheaval will end. 

Maybe you ended up stress-eating and losing sleep. Anxiety and depression slowly creep in, as the days bleed into each other while social distancing. You begin to ignore social media posts and feel the need to call up your friends more often. 

5. Accepting the present

6 Emotional Stages of Social Distancing

Similar to the stages of grief, the next step is the acceptance that social distancing is the new normal. After mourning what could have been, you start to include food deliveries and video conferencing into your routine. You acknowledge that things are not the same as they were before, but you also try to embrace the present as best as you can. 

Somewhere between the crushing anxiety and the uncertainty of tomorrow, you learn to take deep breaths again. You find silver linings in your everyday life. You count your blessings, no matter how small. 

Also read: COVID-19 Lockdown Reflection: 9 Things I Realise I Take For Granted 

6. Hope

Hope can be a fickle thing during these times. But it’s something you nurture and tend to regularly, just like a garden. You occupy your days by taking up new hobbies, finishing light-hearted shows on Netflix, and talking to your friends for hours. You stay connected with your loved ones or join an online support group in your community. Not every day will be perfect. Sometimes, you will feel frustrated by your progress. 

Some days, though, it gets a little easier. Know that you’re coping to the best of your abilities under the circumstances. Just getting up in the morning and taking on the day with a brave face is already more hopeful than you think. 

Also read: 7 Tips to Protect Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Needless to say, social distancing is making everyone feel nostalgic for their lives before the crackdown. As we slowly work on getting our lives back on track, we should be gentle with ourselves and take it one day at a time. Let’s pray that this, too, shall pass! 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, shopping, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits patiently for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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