Loneliness NZ

Making every day in COVID-19 isolation not a lonely day

We wish everyone reading this page creativity in finding ways to meaningfully connect during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic! We wish you to find inner strength and resilience…and we wish you to truly come to enjoy solitude. We wish for our “bubbles” to thrive…bringing out the best in yourselves and in each other.

We want all this for you as well as to feel part of the greater whole of what we are all doing for each other and our family, friends and whānau….literally saving lives.

Guiding principles to conquer loneliness in isolation

We are strong believers that each one of us is unique in personality, circumstance and need; and yet we have our humanness in common. So what we are considering are good principles to keep you physically and mentally well – both of which reduce loneliness.

So in this context, we are aiming for you to find solitude when you are on your own; and be connecting meaningfully when you are seeking people (in person, and leveraging technology).

Develop an indoors routine, a combination of familiarity, flexibility, mindfulness, movement and creativity. Every day create balance taking these factors into account.

  • Connecting meaningfully versus time on your own;
  • Spending time thinking and being zoned out versus actively moving and exercising while indoors;
  • Being supportive to other people versus considering your own needs and expressing them;
  • Staying up to date with the critical information on COVID-19 coronavirus and the rest of life versus letting go, relaxing and finding humour;
  • Enjoying peace and quiet versus being energised with sound (radio, television, music and human voices).
Balancing life in isolation

We encourage you to get fresh air by opening windows in your home… and going outside on your property.

When you are outside (2m apart) on your property or going beyond for essentials make the most of your time: by creating meaningful connections; stretching all your muscles; looking for beauty; being positive.

We will continue to write articles on how to practically achieve these. In the meantime pick a few ideas from the section below to add into today.

Choosing some positive action daily

Connect meaningfully

Phone and video call family and friends. Natter with your neighbours across the fence - remember to stay separated.

Unite to save lives

Staying positive will help you avoid loneliness. You’re isolating for all of us and saving the lives of people we love. Thank you!

Balance your time with others

As much as you enjoy time together, be mindful that some of your household may need time on their own too.

Show gratitude

Lonely people often focus inwards. To focus outwards, express appreciation to those supporting you, including strangers, neighbours, family, and friends.

Choose what you can influence

Avoid dwelling on negative situations you have no control over, and turn your attention to what you are doing to help the situation.

Be creative

Kiwis are well-known for their creativity and now more than ever, it’s our time to shine. Find ways to make familiar routines and activities fit your new lifestyle.

Create quality time with others

Balance your conversations – each of you take turns listening carefully to each other and acknowledging the feelings behind what is being shared.

Make positive change

Solitude is quality time for yourself. Use your time to plan positive changes to your life… and make whatever start you can from your home.

Enjoy being busy on your own

Pick an activity that you haven’t had time to do. You could read, clean those cupboards, sort out your photos, clear the garden … and then celebrate!

Give your brain a break

Lonely people often dwell on what they are not able to change. Instead, surround yourself with humour, positive people, and feel-good stories.

Have reasonable expectations

Nothing about our world is familiar to anyone. So have reasonable expectations of people and processes.

Validate your feelings

Your feelings of disappointment and frustration are real. Acknowledge them out loud and then move onto happier thoughts and conversation.

Be supportive

Let someone talk to you about how they are feeling; making your discussion about them and not about you.

Smile from your heart

Whether you are on your own, or with people, smile at any opportunity. Simply changing your face to a smile is uplifting.

Share chores

Before chores become a source of friction, contribute willingly to the daily household needs.

Appreciate your solitude

Use alone time as a special opportunity to reflect, dream, and plan.

Be patient with others

Our situations are unique. Everyone has their own stories, and their own pace of processing what’s happening.

Leverage technology

Social media posts and sharing memes can help pass the time. However, to avoid loneliness we need meaningful conservations - so make use of phone and video calls

Take a break from technology

We can get so absorbed on our mobile devices, laptops and television. Make quality time for others – who will appreciate it.

Find peace

Ask your family to give you space in your home for an hour or two. Then re-join them with your full attention.

Be understanding

We are all in this together. Yes, your life has been turned upside down - but so have others. Understand how they are feeling.

Listen and be heard

Instead of typing messages, have chatty conversations, which make each of you less lonely.

Develop balanced routines

Plan your days and your space to provide balance between connecting, time on your own, activity and exercise.

Be kind

To avoid loneliness we need to be kind to ourselves and others. Do something that gives pleasure to you and your loved ones.

COVID-19 loneliness resources

For resources to prevent loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit COVID-19 loneliness resources.