-By Niharikaa Mehta.
Need for alternatives in the times of social distancing
With the spreading of the novel and omnipresent killer virus, more than half of the world is under lockdown where they have to adhere to the measures of social distancing in order to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus. However, it has been found that a lack of social contact can impact one’s mental health and well-being. To overcome the lack of touch, some of the coping methods are as follows:
Old gifts and toys with sentimental values: comforting objects and activities that have sentimental value attached with them can help reduce stress as it can help in overcoming negative emotions.
Revisit pleasant memories: revisiting memories that stimulate other sensations like our favourite trip can be helpful as it has the power to elicit positive emotions and hopefulness and provide us with some relief in our stressful lives.
Keep in touch: Connecting with our neighbours from our respective balconies, keeping in touch with our families through social media has also been found to have a positive impact on our mental health.
Hug yourself: Various professionals have suggested that even though hugging others can be helpful, hugging oneself i.e. wrapping our arms around our body can activate the reward system generated via the C-tactile afferents too.
Spend time with your pet: People who have pets are advised to spend time with them as it helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Physical activity: For people isolating alone during the pandemic, any kind of activity that moves the skin is considered to be effective such as yoga, crunches, massages, walking around the room, rubbing a tennis ball on your legs or dancing as it stimulates the pressure receptors.
In this manner, keeping in touch with people will hopefully prevent physical isolation and touch deprivation from becoming a ‘norm’ for future generations.