Kristen's Chronicles: Loneliness During a Time of Isolation

Written by Kristen Reese; Associate Director of Rediscovering You

Over the last seven months I think most of us have had to make our mental health a priority. One thing, in-particular, I’ve struggled a bit with in the last couple months is loneliness.

I am used to being a pretty active person, but I have been feeling socially disconnected due to the pandemic. One of my favorite things is going out to dinner with friends. I’ve cut that back quite a bit, just to be safe. The way I do my job and how I interact with coworkers and our patrons has also changed.

Cigna surveyed 20,000 adults from the United States in 2018 (before COVID) and 46% sometimes or always feel alone. While 47% sometimes or always feel alone and/or left out. I know I am not alone in these feelings. I can only imagine what these numbers are today.

Loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, psychosis, and/or substance abuse. I know I need to address the loneliness and find ways to continue to cope. No one knows when things will get back to normal so- What can I do now to adjust? I know I need to find a purpose. Here are some things I have done that have helped me: I bought a kayak and took it out on the lake a number of times, taking my dog for a walk, reading (and talking to friends or coworkers about the book), and going to lunch or dinner with one or two friends on an outside patio (once every 2-3 weeks). I have found when I get exercise a few times a week it helps keep me in a positive frame of mind. My motivation comes from maintaining relationships with my family and friends; however I can in these times.

Mental Health America shares other possible ways to reduce loneliness: community service or volunteering, alleviate stress, expect the best from people, and focus on quality relationships. For more information on these tips, visit

Rediscovering You also has resources available on anxiety, depression and substance use.

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