The difference between being isolated by choice and by force

Many people are socially more isolated these days due to coronavirus. I’m no exception.

Is it easier for me because I’m an introvert and used to be alone most of the time? Yes and no. At first, I thought it’ll be pretty much the same. But it’s not. I finished exhausting psychotherapy recently and I was craving some alone time badly. But now I’m craving human contact as badly as I was craving being alone. Just at the right time, when we were told to stay away from each other as much as possible.

I’m not surprised at all. It’s the way our minds work. We tend to wish for what we can’t have, many times. Sounds familiar?

Thankfully, we have quite good technology that connects us to our loved ones when they’re not around. They’re always just a click or a phone call away. And we have the whole internet full of people to socialize as much as we want to.

This is all great, but nothing can replace human touch and physical presence. It just makes a difficult time a bit easier.
Here and now is all we have and it’s up to us to make the best out of it. Accepting this is not nearly as easy as it might sound. But it’s better than wishing and craving for something more than it’s available at the moment. Some dreaming is good though.

What about you, how do you cope with being isolated a bit more than usual?

Further reading:
Fixing The Issue Of Always Wanting What You Can’t Have
How to be happier with what you already have and stop wanting more
The Power of Acceptance: Stop Resisting and Find the Lesson
113 Fun activities to do at home with kids while self-isolating
Restricted movements and self-isolation
‘Pause, reflect and stay home’: how to look after yourself and others in self-isolation

21 Replies to “The difference between being isolated by choice and by force”

  1. I’m actually the other way around. I’ve been isolated not by choice but because of health as well as the isolation inherent in society, and lack of communities, and now that everybody’s in the same boat it will be easier! Plus I can share my tips with people :D.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Also the world will be quieter. I do feel for you though and many people who won’t know what’s coming. It will definitely be difficult for everybody, isolation is a killer.

      But, perhaps out of it some community spirit will arise, and maybe it won’t turn out to be as bad as it currently looks. One day at a time 💙.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s funny, I’m an introvert but I am surprised how quickly I feel lonely if the house is empty. Working in healthcare however I will have no shortage of human contact during this outbreak!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I have been checking in with my elderly Mom a couple of times a day. I would like for her to be able to come to our house and hang out but I am worried we will by accident convey the virus although we don’t have the symptoms. We are staying at home by choice. She is staying at home. We have technology to keep us together

        Liked by 3 people

  3. After working with people all day I crave the solitude of my home. I don’t get to be isolated because I am a case manager for disabled children so right now my job is to keep all the parents calm while their children are home. I think it’s true though that nothing replaces physical presence and comforting touch ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I was talking with a friend about this same thing just this afternoon…we both tend to isolate during much of the day, but when it’s forced upon us with no options for anything else, it can become disconcerting. I usually go to the local cafe several times each week and during the pandemic, am having to stay put most of the time. It’s no longer an option since any food service businesses can only offer take-out. To make the problem even more pronounced in my life, I’ve also taken a hiatus from social media for the season of Lent. So at least until April 12th, I’ll have to do without that as well. I’ve even considered breaking that fast, but as of yet am standing strong. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Its an interesting question. Certainly there’s a difference (prison!)…and yesterday’s news in the UK that schools will close has come as an unwelcome shock to my daughters. Not only will they lose their social networks (virtual contact isn’t a long term substitute), I suspect the isolation will reinforce reliance on online communications, gaming, too much YouTube. My youngest is a dancer and all that – the practice, the group and team work, the exercise and its benefits – are not fully replaceable in isolation. There’s a lot for us to do as a family – and we are the lucky ones. Getting into nature daily is part of the remedy (, as is talking and listening to one another more often and more deeply than we normally would. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am an introvert and a homebody. I am happiest at home doing my own thing. But now that they could impose laws ;’forbidding’ me to leave my home, stripping me of my free will…my inner rebel has emerged and is railing against being told I can’t. Never mind I don’t particularly want to go out. Being told I can’t just triggers me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ditto here. Being forced to do it hasn’t mattered at all. Strange, cause some things DO make a total difference when “forced to”. Writing, especially. I’m great with that….except when I’d have an assignment or column due


  7. It’s hard being home more often now. Sigh. I was just getting used to my schedule of rushing off to school almost every day and being in a different space/environment. Now it’s by force that I have nowhere to go because everything is closed and must adhere to “social distancing”, and that’s frustrating because I often liked going out on my own to a variety of places. I was already practicing social distancing before the coronavirus, lol, except it was for different reasons (anxiety, social awkwardness, being more of an introvert, liking my alone time, etc). Now it doesn’t feel that much different, except I have paranoia about being around people because I don’t want to potentially get sick.


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