By Bruce Sheridan
The current pandemic has created many unwanted consequences. One is the need to isolate, to be distant from friends, relatives and co-workers.
As many businesses have shifted to a virtual workforce, most of us have lost the benefit of daily social connections. Sure Zoom and other vehicles can attempt to fill the gap, but we have learned that long-term, the touch, feel and in-person interaction gained with others is irreplaceable.
Dealing with isolation can be difficult for both families and individuals. It can be especially challenging for single, responsible, young adults many of which are recent college graduates seeking to make their mark in life.
Most young adults have grown accustomed to a wide range of seemingly non-stop social activities. Dating, parties, shopping excursions, trips to restaurants and sports events have been the norm. The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused most of these get-togethers to be greatly reduced or totally eliminated.
Spending most of their time at home can cause young adults to feel a high state of loneliness. It can cause anxiety and depression, and, as a result, even have a negative impact on job performance.
Here then are five positive ways young adults can deal with the restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
1. Build connections with like-minded friends. Porch parties and small gatherings, with proper social distancing, have proven to work well in dealing with the need to be with a group. However, the group should be limited to positive, like-minded individuals, as opposed to others who may not share your values. Drinking should be limited. Phone, text, email and social media can help maintain contact with close and far reaching friends in your network.
2. Address your personal issues with family. Contact should be maintained with family members. Do not hesitate to discuss a personal dilemma or issue with a parent or sibling, a respected co-worker or mentor, a life coach, or even a member of the clergy.
3. Improve your skills. The extra time spent at home can be used to add to one’s skill set. You can take online courses to enhance your knowledge and prospects for professional advancement. One can also learn a new hobby, a foreign language, or serve as a volunteer to help others less fortunate. All create positive energy and a feeling of fulfillment rather than one of despair.
4. Exercise. An exercise program can help eliminate stress and anxiety. It can build stamina and energy and help you sleep better. You can run or walk outdoors without a mask, as long as you are properly distanced. Visiting a tranquil setting like a park can add to the enjoyment of the experience. Yoga and other forms of indoor activities can also help improve your body and spirit.
5. Strengthen your relationship with God. Last and most importantly, develop an unwavering belief with God. Have faith that God will help you overcome any personal crisis associated with the pandemic. Believing in a higher power can serve as a beacon when you have feelings of desperation. You are never alone because God is always with you.
Bruce Sheridan is the Board President of Life Compass Inc. in St. Louis. Life Compass is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to serve God by coaching young adults to plan and live a fulfilling God-centered life. There is no charge for individuals to participate. The organization is dependent on contributions from individuals, businesses, and more. The objective is not to serve as a therapist or social worker but rather provide a coach to help those 18-28 years old develop a sense of purpose, a relationship with God, and a lifelong journey of caring for themselves. For additional information visit https://lifecomp.org.