Alone During COVID - 19 Lockdown. How Can You Survive?

Answered by: Dr Mohd Ramzdhan Bin Mohd Masdar
Updated on: August 6, 2020

Question:
Hello doctor, I’m a student. When the MCO was announced, I was still in college and could not go home. Right now I'm the only one in the room. The other roommate came home earlier because he had his own vehicle. Although there are other students at this college, I have no friends and spend my days here alone. I feel so lonely. I tried to spend time watching movies or browsing social media, but that didn't stop me from being sad. Help me, doctor. I'm afraid it will go crazy if this situation continues.
Answer:
Greetings. Thank you for asking this question. I hope you can stay calm and know that there are a lot of other people feeling the same way. I understand this can be stressful and not an easy thing to deal with. However, this is a situation we must all go through before we can go out and carry out our normal routine without fear. Therefore, I would suggest that you try to meet new college friends even not knowing them before, as this may give you a chance to get a new best friend while at the same time eliminating your loneliness. Call family and friends as often as possible to get rid of loneliness and longing. Do new things like drawing, learning new things and skills on the internet and so on. Don't be afraid to admit that you are sad or lonely, holding back can make things worse. If needed, you can contact the college or contact your doctor if you can no longer stand it. I hope you continue to be strong and courageous in this situation.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) is extended. It's been almost a month since the curfew was implemented and experts say it may not end this April 28th. We heard many were upset. Children are separated from their mothers, husbands are separated from their wives, and students are trapped in their dormitories. There are many sad and difficult situations, but this order must be obeyed for the good of all.

For those staying with family throughout the MCO, boredom can be alleviated by family interaction. Perhaps before each one was busy with his career, this free time could be taken to re-energize relationships by engaging in activities together. However, for those who live alone, how do they cope with the MCO being confined to their own apartment or dormitory?

As humans, doesn’t matter whether we are timid or introverted, interaction with other human beings is a necessity in life. Without this interaction for a long period of time, one can feel depressed and this can negatively impact physical and mental health. An extrovert or people that used to be surrounded by other humans must be feeling worst.

How can one reduce stress when forced to stay alone during the MCO period? What can be done to prevent this stress from becoming serious and can lead to worse mental condition?

Of course, it is hard to be happy when forced to live alone, away from family and friends, going out to enjoy nature is also not possible. As many exciting shows available on Netflix, it's impossible to spend time just in front of the TV without getting bored. To some extent, you will find even your favorite show couldn’t spark your interest. Video games that you love to play on a normal day could be something meaningless to you. So, here are some tips for you to live with these extended MCO days even if you are alone.


Maybe you think what you are feeling is a small thing. So you try to ignore it. Don't do this, ignoring your feelings and pretending to be okay will only make things worse. It wasn’t wrong to acknowledge the fact that you are sad or lonely. Believe me, you will feel more comfortable and calm after accepting your feelings.


I'm sad. I'm lonely. I'm depressed. I'm tired. I want to go out. I miss my family. I'm scared. Speak. Shout it out. Expressing what you are feeling can help you handle your situation easily and reduce the tension in you. Expressing these feelings to others does not make a weakling, but rather makes it easier for others to help you, or at least shares the burden. Contact a friend, family member, or someone who is in a similar situation. At least you know that there are others who are facing the same doom and are under the same pressure. Having a friend like this allows you to support each other even in cyberspace.


Get impulsive. Now is not the time for you to think about your diet or become a perfectionist. Do what you feel like doing. Even if finishing a whole tub of ice cream. Eat a whole chocolate bar or ordering one whole of your favorite cake from Secret Recipe. You are going through a tough period. Believe me, your mental health is more important than your current weight or appearance.

However, it is important to be aware of what you are doing. Doing this occasionally can bring you joy. But too often it can be harmful to health. You want to be both mentally and physically healthy. We don’t want you to get out of the MCO with a sane mind but a clogged artery.


If you used to go out with friends on the weekend night or used to exercise with your friends. Don't let the MCO erase the fun in your life. Now everything is at your fingertips. Online karaoke session? Communication video on a treadmill? Why not? Everything is possible.

If having fun with friends is not your cup of tea. Try new hobbies or learn something new like drawing, craft or watch and try out new makeup tutorials.


The truth is, our main enemy is ourselves. Don't be too hard and punish yourself if you are not at your best. You need to give yourself a chance to feel sad, tired, frustrated, and then get back t life. You will actually feel more at ease and happy if you give yourself a chance. Get help if you need it. Call for a support line or your doctor if you think you can’t handle it anymore. There’s nothing wrong with getting help.

Now everything looks dark and you think there is no hope for you. Remember that this situation is temporary and it will pass. You will return to your daily routine and maybe then, you will miss your time alone. Until then, be careful and don't give up easily!




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