Quarantine: Social Withdrawal Symptoms

I don’t think anyone of us could’ve ever guessed these events would escalate so quickly, but they did. Here we are, welcoming a new decade and the most impactful disease of the century. By number of deaths, the covid-19 isn’t nearly as devastating as the swine flu or the flu which kills about 56,000 people each year. Regardless if you think the world is over reacting or not, this perception is now our reality.

Humans are a social species and lots of things can change when that is taken away from us. We instinctively feel alone and we don’t release as many endorphins or dopamine throughout the day, known as our “happiness hormones.” You lose motivation and things start to feel… desolate, dejecting, down in the dumps.

If social distancing wasn’t enough, my city, Salt Lake City, was hit with a 5.7 earthquake this morning, followed by 80 tremors throughout the day after that. During two of my video calls, my coworkers and I experienced some of those mini earthquakes/tremors together. My work building was damaged and will be closed for a week until damages can be repaired. As if dealing with a pandemic wasn’t enough, we had to deal with an earthquake which left many of us without power.

It’s very easy to feel disheartened by all of this, but we all have a choice:

You can either choose to be hopeful, positive, and make a difference by doing your part, or you can choose to be negative, angry at the world, and live in despair for the next 30 days. I am choosing the first option. I am inspired by the way my family, friends, and colleagues have supported each other. Within minutes of the first earthquake lots of people were checking in and offering to help in any way they could. This is really an opportunity to take a step back in life and reflect on what’s really important to us. At the end of the day, it could be much worse. There’s some good in every day. Even on bad days you can find something positive. For example, this afternoon I went to the field and juggled my soccer ball for an hour which I haven’t been able to do in months. I also witnessed how the leaders of my company handled this crisis with class, courage, and by comforting all of their employees. I am truly honored to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Let’s pull together, be there for each other emotionally, mentally, and spiritually by virtual means, and we’ll get through these times together. I know I’ll be leaning on my friends and family more for phone calls to catch up and share a few laughs, quiet time to relax, and free time to read, write, and focus on my self development and what really matters in the world. How are you planning to spend your quarantine?

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84 thoughts on “Quarantine: Social Withdrawal Symptoms

  1. I just posted about something like this today. The withdrawing… and the uncertainty has gotten to me. I am just tired. I will choose to be positive. I will choose to try and make a difference. I just need to catch my breath before I go back in there. Thanks for the article; good thoughts.

    1. Hey joe thanks for your honesty. And truthfully I wrote this article because I was feeling way too negative about the whole situation. It’s hard when negativity seems to be so closely related with being realistic. But I’m making a commitment to honor myself and others to find some good in each day and have more of a positive mindset overall even though it’s challenging! Best of luck and stay strong!! 💪🏻

  2. The rainy cold weather here in California isn’t helping much. Combined with social distancing it leads to a bit of cabin fever. Most of us are used to being physically alone and restricted. The minute the sun comes out for a day, off on a hike.

    1. Hi Fred, today was cold and rainy here in Salt Lake, followed by another (minor) earthquake this morning. But, these are things we cannot control. We simply cannot control the weather and other things of that nature, so there’s no use getting upset over it. Although easier put than practiced, I’m working on it 🙂 thanks for sharing. sending some virtual sunshine your way, <3E

  3. I’m trying to spend as much time with my kiddos as possible. Go outside. Fretting and worrying though I do it, gets me no where. I’m staying strong in prayer and looking for every opportunity to make a difference.

    1. Family time is one of the most important aspects of life! Yes I am spending time with my family hiking and doing the things we love outdoors and making dinner together every night. There is some good in every day 🙂 thanks for sharing! Stay strong out there 💪🏻

  4. This is a lovely, uplifting post. I will be spending my time teaching Kindergarteners through e learning. 🙂 Lol Also, my son lost his job as a waiter in CA but the silver lining is that he came back home to wait out this pandemic. It is good to have him here with me and I am thankful that we can help him through this difficult time.

    1. Teaching kindergarteners online sounds like a hard yet fulfilling job! Kudos to you and the other teachers out there being flexible enough to keep education a priority and making it work. Keep up the great work and enjoy your son home while you have him! Best, <3E

  5. I’ve learned to be isolated. Just in the past couple of days I realized that it’s really giving people trouble. So I decided to set up a remote music recording project for a small ensemble I’m leading. They will submit recordings of their instruments in meter, recorded any way they can. I’ll compile the work in GarageBand. Hopefully it will be a fun diversion. Hey! It’s music! We could potentially do this for months. It would help me feel less isolated for a change!

    1. Hey Carbohydrate, what a cool way to stay connected to people and your passion of music! I’ve never heard of that before but it sounds genius. Thanks for sharing and for reading, keep on rockin’!

  6. I believe we can do it too! Thanks for this uplifting post. It’s time for human to learn and show humanity and compassion at times like this. We must take care of one another AS WELL AS the planet. I think we human have taken the planet for granted for too long.

    1. Hey BabyTopaz, I totally agree with you. It’s refreshing to see all (or most) of us on the same page, doing what we can for something bigger than ourselves, an effort to help our fellow neighbors survive. And the best part is that mother earth is getting a break from so much daily pollutants we contribute… There’s some light in this story. Thanks for your support! <3E

      1. (virtual) Hugs. Think bringing each other up is the only way to get us thru this pandemic. 🙏 Keep doing what you are doing!

  7. yes, i just mentioned some of this in my own post..we aren’t even going to se the full impact ( emotionally & mentally- along with economically-) right away. I guess i am just stunned by the irony. It feels like i was unknowingly prepared by the universe for this for the past year ( isolation) . I remember how it was for a few months when i went into my isolation/hibernation- no social media. I remember the depression and how hard it was to be disconnected. But, i did survive and so now, i will not suffer as bad as those going through it NOT by choice. i expect to see an upsurge in blogging posts though- so..theres a good thing:) Stay positive!!Hugs!!

    1. Hey Lovie, yes it’s hard to imagine all the consequences that we’ll see on the other side of all this, much less when it will even end. And I can relate to you as well, I took a 3 month break from social media too and hadn’t felt more mentally clear or motivated in a long time. I feel another one of those coming, just because I am locked up inside doesn’t mean I have to spend it on social media. Here’s to looking for the positive side! Thanks for reading <3E

  8. Thank you for this post. In the valley where I live we have had a month’s + of rain, floods and constant mental trauma of the carnage which has happened before in 2001, 20012 and 2015 occur yet again. However, with Covid-19 we have seen such a community spirit emerge from the gloom. Despite many households still reeling from the water ingress and the months of being left either living elsewhere whilst their house dries out or finding relief funds from the Government, everyone is working cohesively to support one another. This brings such joy.

    1. Wow, I am sending my blessings and best wishes to your community. The good thing about hard times is seeing everyone unite together to achieve a common purpose. Thank you for sharing your story and for reading my post. Best, Ellen

  9. Wow! Coronavirus and and earthquake, too! The blogpost reminds us of a very positive and powerful message: that while you can’t control what happens, you can try to control your reaction to it. If you choose to be positive, t doesn’t always last, but at least you give yourself a shot at being happy! Nice work

    1. I love that quote and that’s exactly the mindset I have to tackle all this whole situation. Thank you for sharing your comment and for reading. Best wishes, Ellen

  10. Appreciate the uplifting perspective. It’s a great time to reevaluate what is truly valuable and perhaps make some voluntary choices in the midst of enforced solitude.

    1. Hey Saltshaker, thanks for your support and I agree, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on what really matters in life, and for the time to work on some personal projects we haven’t quite found the time to do… Thanks for reading! <3E

  11. I live my by these two choices, either I do (accept my disability and life in a wheelchair) or I don’t (cry sink into depression etc). I choose the first option every time. Love your blog. Thank you for following mine

    1. This is truly inspirational Belle. Thank you for sharing a part of your story with me. I believe we share a similar outlook on life… you can either choose to see the good or the bad in every situation. Wishing you a peaceful and safe weekend, <3E

  12. I don’t think I ever wrote to you. but your experiences today make me wanting to send you my love.
    I live in Indonesia where earthquakes are very frequent. We had a 6.6 last night, but luckily I slept and did not feel it. Though, we did not experience any damage because the epicentre was in the sea.
    I like this solitude situation. It gives me finally plenty of time to do all the things I always wanted to. But then again, there are no sick people here and we still can go out and meet friends. But honestly, I mostly stay at home, do my things as time slowly moves forward. It feels like time even slowed down. The best thing is that nature get the space to recover from all the damage we people create. I am amazed how fast river turn blue, sky clear up and the pollution seems to disappear.
    Every situation, every experience has at least 2 sides. This is something, I always try to keep in mind. Love & Light

    1. This is beautiful, this is exactly what I was thinking too. About nature, about the rainforests in Indonesia and how now the orangutans and other animals can now have a little more time to adapt to being in their natural environment without humans coming along to destroy it. Whenever I think of how seriously horrible this virus is, I remind myself of how the sky is now blue in places it has never been blue before. Blessings to you in Indonesia. Namaste

      1. Thabk you. Very beautidul words. It applies not juat to Infonesia, but to the whole world. Being a bit nasty, one could say usually we humans are the virus. 😉
        All the best to you.

      2. Thank you for your support and I agree, I think it’s a good time for us all to step back and reflect on what’s really important to us. We don’t constantly need to be going places, buying things, etc, if we have our family, friends, and a peace of mind that’s really all we need from a psychological standpoint. Thanks for reading! <3E

      3. I am replying to this comment separately, but yes another view I synchronize with… there is light even in the darkest of times. The animals, mother earth, and our environments are all able to take a breath and reset. The photos of how healthy the earth is around the world adds some joy to my day. Sending light and warmth to Indonesia during these tough times. Namaste!

      4. Light and love to you too Ellie, it is lovely that many people are thinking in this way during this time, about protecting the earth, as an eternal optimist I am hoping this is the timely wake up call that the world needs. xxx

    2. Hi Nad, thank you so much for your kind message, your words brought me some peace and inspiration. I truly love how we are all so connected through this tragedy together. It’s something, as humanity, we’ve never done before and it’s inspiring to witness us all coming together in unison over a common cause. I believe we share a similar outlook, that everything has 2 sides, and it’s our choice to choose our reaction. Thank you for your words and I’m wishing you light, love, and positivity from Utah. <3E

    1. Hi Tamara, thank you so much for your support and I am glad I was able to spread some positivity. Have a peaceful and safe weekend! <3Ellen

  13. I live in the midwest in the “medical capital” and the isolation and everyone being scared to leave their homes is quite disheartening. I was hoping that this year would be a good year going into spring, but like you said the unforeseen has happened. Like yourself I am choosing the high road of positivity. I still go out but I take the right precautions. I help my grandmother and father wit their grocery needs and I am going to start a back yard garden as well. I think this is truly the time to be more positive.

    1. Hey Ricky, I am from the midwest too! The sentiment around the world is disheartening, but I’ve also never seen the world unite together over one common goal. It’s quite a beautiful thing to me and I’ve never felt more connected to the world and everyone in it. Stay positive! <3E

      1. Hey Midwest buddy! Is it muddy season where your at too?
        I really hope that the world uniting like this lasts for awhile I know it would benefit so many families.

      2. Yes it is, all the snow is melting and leaving hiking trails wet and muddy! And yes I agree, and I really do think it will give many people perspective.

      3. Well I hope all this terrible weather and sickness leads to a better summer and holiday season. I know everyone will need a break after the beginning of 2020.

  14. What a great positive message. Thank you. I live in the Midwest where this time of the year often brings rain and this year we have had an abundance. We cancelled a trip to Florida out of caution and to not expose elderly relatives to germs. I try to stick to a routine, go out when I need to and practice social distancing and work on projects I have been putting off.

    1. Hey Phyllis, I am also from the midwest, and I know how wet this time of year can be! I am glad you got a chance to work on projects you’ve been putting off, I have found time to do that as well. Best, E

  15. Just when you think things can’t get any worse hey?! I can’t imagine how that must be for you. You sound pretty solid in your outlook, which is inspiring to read.

    1. Hi LovingSummer, thanks for your comment and thankfully my city is pulling together as one and all supporting each other through these tough times, just as I see around the world, which is the most inspiring thing about all of this to me. I get my inspiration from the world around me. Thanks for reading! <3E

  16. Yet another demonstration of why I am so proud of you !!💙🙏💙🙏
    You are such a positive influence to those who are fortunate to be with you. Daily morning yoga together is a true gift that I absolutely love!!
    Now with your writings, you are able to share the positivity with so many more people. Keep writing!! Keep practicing!! LoveYou💙💙💕💕

  17. I must say your article today is very thought provoking… Since we are social creatures, doing something nice for someone, seems easy… However I bet the first six things you think of, require you to be there in person. I know the many hours I have enjoyed doing something nice for someone or some group included my presence. So come on people, put on your thinking caps and be creative! Take a few extra moments and dig deeper to understand the person, the group or the business you want do something positive for. Maybe FaceTime (video chat) with your grandparents (find out some things they need) then shop for them. Think of something they did not ask for, surprise them with a gift from a struggling local merchant. Leave everything in their garage and skip the usual in person visit. Flattening the Curve as the experts say, will save many lives by social distancing. But remember we live in the greatest electronic age in history, being social is in our DNA and now it is so easy…

    1. You’re right it will take some creativity to “be there” for our family and friends even when we can’t be. It’s something that many of us have taken for granted, which I think a lot of us won’t on the other side of all of this. You can choose to take away something positive from every tough situation.

  18. I love your insights into how to take the most out of a tough situation we all find ourselves in. In a way though, I love how we can all share and be united by the struggle, it really makes humanity feel like one instead of many different nations.

    1. Wow, I love your point there…. The struggle truly does unite us all together in humanity, rather than hundreds of different nations all experiencing different things. For this one time, we’re all experiencing the same thing and it feels like we’re more connected than ever… Thanks for the insightful comment. Best, Ellen

  19. Thank you for this post! You’re absolutely right; we all have a choice in how we respond. These may be very trying times, but if we stick together and support one another–even virtually–we can hopefully ease some of the burden. Sending you vibes of positivity and strength, friend.

    1. Thank you as always for your support snapdragon! I believe we share a similar outlook on life, we can’t choose what happens to us but we can choose how we respond 🙂 wishing you a peaceful and safe weekend!

  20. What a great attitude Ellen! We do have to look at the positive and not lose sight of it as we navigate through tough times. We haven’t been quarantined here yet, but it’s probably coming. Then finally I’ll have a spotless house, maybe. I’d rather play with data. Shhh…

  21. LOL! Most of you have social in your genes. Not everybody does.

    Since I am an old fart, I’ve been self-isolating for 3 weeks. Only went shopping for groceries twice and took one long solo hike. I talk to my wife more. We walk the dogs more. I spend a lot less money. I get a lot more writing done. My social anxiety is zeroed out.

    OTOH I’ve put on 6 lbs. The refrigerator is always tempting me. I am disappointed that events that I had been looking forward to have been delayed for several months.

    But on balance, I like being alone. It is a comfortable place free of stress for me. Aloneness is a freedom that rests lightly on one and makes few demands.

    1. Yes, “being social” comes in many forms… a lot of us like being alone if it’s our choice, but hate being alone if it’s not our choice. I’m sure you can relate to this as well. Your house would be a lot more lonely without your wife and your dogs! Thanks for reading and take care out there!

    1. Hi Lenore, I am on the same path too, trying to find my intense motivation I used to have. Some days are better than others, but every step is progress even if it doesn’t seem like it right away. Thanks for sharing!

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