Isolation and Loneliness: A breakdown of structure


By Laurence Dawkins, Wellbeing Digital Editor

The Croft Magazine // We are conditioned towards certain patterns of behaviour: a breakdown of structure can be intimidating, but has the potential to be productive and restful.

I recently wrote a piece on isolation and loneliness with the intention of emphasising the importance of 'making and maintaining friends at university'. Since then, strict guildlines have restricted social (physical) interactions to those only within our own house. I consider how we could choose to feel towards the current situation.

Since these measures ought to be observed by everyone in the UK, there is a shared understanding that physical meetings are off the cards for the foreseeable future. This can be understood as a relief from obligation but also a restriction on intimate and diverse socialising. It is a time of mixed feelings.

As everyone recognises the nationwide struggle presented by coronavirsus, there is mutual understanding of relaxed obligations (for those not working hard in vital services), as many people adapt to methods of working - online and from home.

It is by this mutual agreement that I am finding it particularly easy to take rest, and I am being reminded of the advantages that come from taking time off.


It is by building a routine and sticking to it daily that many people are able to live productive lives despite the challenge of mental health conditions.

As this routine falls away, I find myself looking to replace it. I am spending much more time listening to music and podcasts, watching TV and films, napping, reading, cooking and exercising. These can all be considered positive changes necessitated by forced isolation.

I have also found it relatively easy to spend time on university work, given the shutdown of the outside world.

As well as relaxed obligations, most of us can also expect reduced socialising. Not really many positives to find here... although it is a good reminder that our friendships ought not to be taken for granted.

If, like me, you can find any benefits of this break period, it would be good to acknowledge that it might sometimes be useful to grant yourself rest even when there doesn't happen to be a global pandemic.

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