COVID-19 Social-distancing impact on our mental health

In this times of uncertainty and anxiety,
social-distancing can be very stressful.

Not being able to follow the daily routine we’ve become accustomed to, nor pursue our activities and forms of relaxation, makes us feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
Being isolated from our usual connections and forms of support makes us feel helpless and lonely.

How do we cope? What should we do while keeping our resolve to get through this?


Us old timers stick with our usual routine of not doing much at all.


The more rural of us might see this a little differently. Social distance or isolation can be part of the everyday way of life. There is always plenty to do around the house, in the garden or on the block. You might only see neighbours in passing when near the fence line.

Sanity used to be that once a week or monthly trip into town, or the school holidays on the coast, or … Any of the local events from kids sporting carnivals to the picnic races. You would hang out for ages waiting for the next one to come around.

For us we are not remote now, just rural. If it was pre virus, the once a week outing, lunch with a view, a bit of a shop or visit to a tourist stop, are all gone. The drop ins to or from family only an hour or two away, not on. Quality time shared in place of quantity was the norm. A phone call is not the same, and Skype etc a stretch too far for many.

What really hits home is not being able to share the one off special events. Australia Post and the local florists must still be doing alright? What else can you send for a 90+ birthday. Toilet Paper? A well written card and note works. Just remember to print clearly and extra large. :wink:


Yes, I can understand the differences depending on where we live.
To me, looking out of my window and seeing a street empty of pedestrians and traffic, and seeing an empty tram go by, gives an unreal sense of time and space.
But that would not be so daunting as not being able to visit or be visited by friends, not meeting for coffee at the usual place, not stopping and hugging neighbors when we meet by chance.

Coincidentally, a friend’s father turned 90 yesterday, and all I could do was drop a card in his mailbox, and a group of us sang happy birthday to him on Zoom (it came out horribly out of tune!) and I was sent a YouTube link of him looking at the video and smiling. I felt very emotional that we had been unable to share a cake and spend some time with him as we usually do on his birthdays.

At the same time I know that social-distancing is a good idea and I’m happy of the result. Just have to keep keeping on I guess, won’t last forever.


Yep, you don’t need to celebrate your birthday on your birthday. Nothing to say you all can’t arrange a big cake and 90 candles for when it is safe again. :birthday: :cake:


I don’t think it will ever be safe to light 90 candles😉 but I like your idea of getting together when it’ll be possible🎂


We had plans for a really big anniversary celebration next month, catering, nice coloured printed invites, quality drinks, music, all the family, friends and neighbours, the full catastrophe. Just before the invites were to go out I had to cancel. Next year it will be really big anniversary +1.


Funny. Our family has taken this as a time of de-stressing rather than distressing. We have more time to think, and just be. We have time to evaluate what is really important, and what activities we would return to after the lockdowns finish.

While I empathise with you about not having face to face contact, rather we are grateful that those we want to keep in contact with are alive, and we can see most of them through the wonders of conferencing technology.

Phone calls and cards are things we used regularly, and are still available for use now.

So we see this all as a positive and not as a negative.

Mental health. Yes it’s improving with the peace and the quiet, the clean air, and the sound of birds and insects.

In the words of Brian… Always Look at the Bright Side of Life [by Bruce Cockburn]

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad
Other things can make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best, and

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps, don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing, and

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life

Life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word
We must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin
Enjoy it, it’s your last…


Like so much Python - spoken in jest, but wise words indeed …


Completely agree with this.

The songbirds are beautiful in suburbia when you listen for them.


In the News just now:
A state of disaster will be declared in Victoria from 6pm tonight, and in Melbourne, where I live, a curfew will be in place from 8pm to 5am.
Stage 4 restrictions will be introduced,
further details to be announced.

We will get through this, we need your thoughts and prayers. :pray: