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University Mental Health Day 2021- #GuidetoIsolation

Isolation; the double-sided coin of 2021.

On one side of the coin, isolation can be seen like the wind that fans the natural flames of loneliness, fear, separation and disconnect. On the other side of the coin, isolation can offer a hope of protection, a much-needed way to potentially keep ourselves safe and prevent sickness and loss of life.

Whichever way you see your coin, and however the coin chooses to land on any given day, the chances are strong that both sides have at one point or another been visibly experienced and deeply felt by us all during 2020/2021.

Understanding isolation and allowing ourselves to see and feel both sides of the coin gives us permission to acknowledge with empathy our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Human beings are naturally social creatures, we weren’t designed to live in isolation, and whatever our differences; introverts or extroverts, early bird or night owl, Labour, Liberal or Conservative, we have a natural tendency to strive towards connection. So how do we deal with isolation?

Firstly, we metaphorically flip the isolation coin each morning and however it lands, either hope side up or anxiety side down, we gently acknowledge how we feel without passing judgment or criticizing ourselves for it, we choose to be kind to ourselves. After we flip our coin, we look at handy tips to help us cope on the days when anxiety might be in sight, these tips might be useful on those days:

  • Change social distancing to physical distancing – reframe the phrase, we might not physically be together, but we can still reach out socially.

  • Utilise Mindfulness- Go outside and feel the weather, the rain on your skin, the sun on your face or wind in your hair. This also helps you see others around you and reminds us we aren’t alone.

  • Turn off the news and watch a family film favourite instead.

  • Talk to people, make a phone call, send an email or a text to let you know people are still there.

  • Hobbies: create something and send a picture to friends and family.

  • Connect with someone outside of your circle: Consider dropping-in for a 30-minute chat with a counsellor

Link here to sign up:

The antidote to isolation is always going to be connection, however you choose to do it. #GuidetoIsolation – It starts with you, help guide friends and loved ones towards connection and support those feeling isolated to feel less alone.


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