Connected in the time of social distancing

As humans we are wired to be social creatures. Especially in the moment of distress. Social contacts buffer the negative effects of stress. Though, social distancing is a public health tactic that is used help communities slow down the transmission and spread of contagious illnesses like the coronavirus. Quarantine is estimated as the best tool for quickly controlling the spread of an infectious disease.

Research on the psychological effects of quarantines during disease outbreak show that social isolation can lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, confusion, anger, fear, and substance misuse. Furthermore, social distancing can lead to increased loneliness, especially among older people who are at a higher risk of severe Covid-19.

How can we follow the public health measure of social distancing and at the same time stay connected with ourselves and each other?

Below some tips:

  • Daily taking time and to be present and aware of our own emotions in this uncertain time
  • Express gratefulness to the people and things you appreciate
  • If you are a highly sensitive personality (article on high sensitive personality and autoimmunity you can read here) at this time of massive fear it is even more important to take good care of yourself and your boundaries
  • Embrace yourself and virtually others, give as many hugs and kisses as possible today. Physical touch feels good to you and to others and it is important for the immune system.
  • Play with your pet, as WHO guidelines suggest pets are safe.
  • Reach out to a family member, colleague and ask how they are doing (texting, email, and making use of apps like Skype and FaceTime). These interactions may not be as good as face-to-face, but they’re much better than no interaction. This will boost your mental health as well as mental health of others, because the perception of support reduces stress.
  • Get in touch with your creativity. Make use as an inspiration people under lockdown in Italy are playing music and signing through open windows.
  • Keep yourself physically active. Physical activity is especially crucial for those with mood disorders to help to regulate emotions.
  • If you’re not sick, go outside, take some fresh air and enjoy the sun
  • Make use of psychological assistance hotline or online psychological intervention if you are in need

Reach out. What is this that you would like to share/ask for/tell community?

We need our Hashimoto.Help community now more than ever.

Sending you a warm hug.

With love,


  1. Brooks, Samantha K et al. (2020) The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet, Volume 395, Issue 10227, 912 – 920
  1. Mary‐Elise Manuell Jeffrey Cukor (2011) Mother Nature versus human nature: public compliance with evacuation and quarantine,  Disasters, vol. 35, Issue2, 417-442
  2. Hawryluck, L., Gold, W. L., Robinson, S., Pogorski, S., Galea, S., & Styra, R. (2004). SARS control and psychological effects of quarantine, Toronto, Canada. Emerging infectious diseases, 10(7), 1206–1212.
  3. Melanie R Taylor, Kingsley E Agho, Garry J Stevens and Beverley Raphael (2008) Factors influencing psychological distress during a disease epidemic: Data from Australia’s first outbreak of equine influenza. BMC Public Health, 8:347 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-347

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