Coping with Separation and Distance

Whether during times of war, amidst a pandemic or simply after moving to a new city, we all encounter times when we need to maintain distance from others. Learning to cope with such circumstances, through trial and error, enables for the maintenance of a healthier and more positive mindset, which in itself can ensure optimal mental health. 

At the same time, is having time alone really a bad thing? We live in a society riddled with noise, distractions, trends, and plastic hassles – complications that serve a redundant long-term purpose and instead satiate short-term wants and needs. Today, we will dig deeper into how such circumstances can serve as opportunities rather than stress triggers. 

Life is What You Make of it

It has never been easier to veer into a negative state of thought, especially amidst all the talk of lockdowns, physical and social distancing, flattening curves, and so forth. However, during such times when it is necessary to self-isolate, the situation does not have to be dreary and dire. Explore new passions, discover a new favourite hobby, and find ways to immerse yourself, staying better entertained and in a more positive mindset. 

In the grand scheme of things, making the most of every day – including when it comes to your current situation – is critical to optimal wellness. This ties into accepting the curveballs life throws our way and dealing with the repercussions as best as possible. For instance, an individual struggling with getting back on their feet after a divorce benefits more from looking out for themselves rather than not making progress on the self by hanging onto the past. Those fragrant memories are often looked at with rose-coloured sunglasses – in other words, it is all too easy to fall in love with the “good old days” rather than face tomorrow’s uncertainties. However, by switching gears and training our minds to be more open to change, it is possible to not only accept what comes but also embrace it. In fact, this is how many self-assured individuals learn to trust in themselves and any decisions they make in the future.

Justification

Of course, not all forms of separation are permanent. For instance, think of us all coping with the isolation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as best as we can. The very reason that we are working together to flatten the curve and put an end to the spread of the virus is so that we can come together and get back to our usual day-to-day. Sure, there will be changes made to better protect folks in the future, but the days of travelling and enjoying the great outdoors with loved ones are only as far away as we make them out to be. Accepting and embracing the current requirements of staying indoors helps us collectively get there faster.

This is a great example of learning to understand the logic behind the separation and formation of long-distance relationships. Healthy separation is that which has a purpose; whether to protect ourselves or loved ones, detoxify and better control our emotions, or otherwise serve as means of justification. Understanding why one is staying away and keeping to themselves is just as important as doing it. It means knowing just what we are working towards and whether it is worth the effort.

Self-Reflection is Not Unhealthy

There is a common misconception that separation and keeping to oneself, even for a short period of time, is unhealthy or toxic. However, this could not be further from the truth. Putting the pandemic situation aside, think of how much time you would have to reflect and think without intrusive biases under normal circumstances. We often surround ourselves with noise without realizing it, and doing so often represents a reaction to specific emotions. 

What we are getting at is that many of us are afraid of having time to ourselves without really knowing it, largely due to the way society around us behaves and communicates certain standards. Do not be afraid to separate yourself from the noise of the world and its many shiny distractions, instead of developing improved emotional control and making more effective decisions. This is completely different from staying inside and never socializing, which is unhealthy, so work on differentiating between the two.

Many of us claim to be “alone” when, in actuality, we are simply uncomfortable being on our own for a bit. If you are struggling with a separation or long-distance relationship, whether due to the pandemic or otherwise, talking to a friendly and experienced therapist can help. Get in touch with us today to get started – we are happy to assist in any way we can!