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Low mood and feeling lonely during lockdown and beyond

  • 05-05-2020 2:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi everyone,

    I just want to preface this by saying that I know that some people’s problems are far bigger than my own and I recognise that I do need to look at the positives of my situation.

    However I just feel like I need to share this or get it off my chest because I’m really struggling at the moment. A bit of background... I’m 26, I’m a physiotherapist and work in a Dublin hospital, I still live with my parents. I count myself lucky that I’m able to still go into work every day at the moment and this is really what is keeping me sane and I’m trying to keep myself busy on weekends with stuff around the house.

    But I feel very very lonely and I suppose since the roadmap of the relaxation of restrictions has been announced I’ve been feeling even more anxious. I’ve never had tonnes of friends, I would say overall I have 10 close friends and in the past 6 months- 9months 4 of them have moved out of the country and 2 of them have moved to other parts of Ireland. So I’ve really only got 4 friends left in Dublin, none of whom live within 5km of me. When the most recent 2 of my friends moved out of Ireland in January that’s when it really hit me that I needed to find some other hobbies/ ways of meeting people because my social circle was getting smaller and smaller. I kind of fell into a bit of a slump mentally for the first few months of the year and then this whole thing kicked off and obviously put that on hold.

    I’m also single, I haven’t been in a relationship for 2 years, my last relationship when it ended really destroyed my self confidence and it has taken a long time for me to build it back up. I joined a dating app at the end of February,, went on a date or two and then lockdown happened so obviously that was put on hold.

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I just feel really low about my life at the moment and I’m worried when the restrictions do start to be lifted everyone else will be seeing friends/ partners even if it is from a 2m distance and outside and I’ll still be stuck on my own. With no prospects of making new friends/ taking up hobbies/ dating for months.

    Reading back over this I almost feel embarrassed and I know that people have far far bigger problems than me but this is really getting me down and I don’t know if anyone has any suggestions as to how to overcome this..


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,467 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory

    You're at an age when lots of people have to start again friend-wise. People moving abroad etc.
    It happens at 34 as well if your friends all start having babies and you don't.
    Best thing you can do is make a plan. I moved back to Ireland age 26 and all my friends had left the city or even country. Myself and my roomate sat down and made a plan to make friends. We both did one volunteer activity and one sporting hobby, and she joined a drama group. When you're older you have to go make an effort like that. You don't have a school gang you meet every day.
    Maybe try make a plan for post-Covid groups you could join?

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi, just wanted to say I'm in a similar situation. I'm 30 (been single 6 years which is horrifying), am still employed but not physically going to work and while I normally live with housemates I'm with my parents at the moment.

    I think the situation we're in makes life feel more stagnant than it is. Especially when the "problems" we have are social as this is the area in which we're harder impacted. I moved home 3 years ago and built up a new group of friends gradually. I'm happy with my friend group but it's hard not to feel lonley when you're apart. A lot of my friends are zooming me with their partners or getting to spend lots of time with new babies... meanwhile I'm sleeping in my childhood bed with only my elderly parents for company.

    But that's what's so har too. I'm very grateful my parents can and want to have me right now. That makes me feel like a terrible person when I think about how lonely and unhappy I am.

    Basically all that to say lonliness is real problem for adults (especially those of us who are sinlgle) these days and the current situation exacerbates that no end for several reasons. So you've every right to feel how you feel.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,187 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    It's all relative, so don't feel bad about getting it off your chest here. It's important to do that. Of course there are people with greater problems, but that will always be the case and you're entitled to your feelings.

    I agree with pp. it might help to start your own 'roadmap' or plan for what will happen next. Friendships do evolve and change as life goes on. People move away, start relationships, start families and so on. Keep in touch by zoom or phone or whatever suits, with the ones that you can do that with, for now.

    It's a strange time for everyone. Don't think too much about what others will be doing as restrictions ease up. I think we all feel somewhat that control has been taken from us, in some key aspects of our lives, in the current climate, and that's a stressor in itself.

    Some people are finding it helpful to take up new interests during this time. Or setting personal goals around fitness, for example.
    Do whatever you personally find helpful to you.

    Mind yourself.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22 Moonbeams8

    I can relate. I'm 31 and moved back into my parents house just before the pandemic happened as renovations were due to happen on my newly purchased home. I was due to be here for 2 months, 3 months max while the work was being done. I have spent the past 7 and a half weeks here (no work has even begun on my house!) and I can relate with a lot of what the poster above has said.

    I too am sleeping in my childhood room, with my parents for company. Every one of my friends (all of them!) are living with their partners and spending lots of extra time with their babies. I have found that keeping myself exceptionally busy has kept me preoccupied and keeps any negative thoughts at bay. I exercise a lot, do a lot of housework and cook to keep my mind busy and my body moving. I minimize zoom calls to be honest (while still keeping in touch) and have gone off all social media. Comparison is the thief of joy!! Funnily enough, I have really taken my foot off the pedal work wise too which is extremely unlike me - I do what is needed and required of me but I found slaving away in front of the screen was affecting my happiness. Before this, it would have been unheard of for me not to be working late into the evening.

    I have used this time to take stock and think of all of the things I have achieved and what I really want in life. I hope to be ready to get going again with life come August when the worst of these restrictions are over with (hopefully!). My advice is to keep busy, try and think positively and who knows what the future will bring. Exercise has been a huge help for me - it keeps me busy and releases endorphins. Plus, hopefully I'll be all trimmed and toned for the summer when we are all free to go where we want to go!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,325 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    This lockdown is tough on everyone so don't think you are alone. Its great that you have a job to go to and you should remember that you are one of the people doing great things for the country and its people.So that is something you should feel good about!

    Lot of people live at home so there is no problem with that. Maybe as others have said, sit down and make out a plan of what you want to do when this lockdown ends. What will you do as restrictions are eased and what will you do if everything is normal again?

    Have a think and maybe make a list. Use this time as planning time and preparation. If you intend to volunteer or join a club maybe look at videos about that activity to prepare. You could have all the theory out of the way by the time this is over! This will get you excited about it too! Even email to inquire about things. The more you know in advance the more likely that you might do it.

    If its an activity or club that requires a lot of energy ( most do!) then try running for your fitness. If you don't like that go for a walk. Use the time as time for your mental health with maybe your ipod with music you like. Or just the quietness of a walk if you prefer! If you rather not go out then do a simple workout from youtube.

    Maybe have a few notes for yourself for when you join or go out and meet new people. I did this for myself a while back as I found the same pattern. I would meet a few new friends. Things would be great and then you drift apart to where the friendship is over. I made a note to make an effort to meet up and/or ring them on the phone especially after the first while when things usually drift. Don't mind texting as that doesn't really count. It was good as a reminder to just give that person a call rather than "I must do that sometime" which ends up being never.

    You can use this time to see any bad patterns in relationships and think how you can adjust to be ready. Is it the same kind of person that you go for thats not right? That kind of thing. We normally don't have time to think about these things.

    Stay positive. This time is only temporary!

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