Life Advice



Barton Goldsmith: 7 tips to deal with the isolation blues

Barton Goldsmith, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Most of us have been dealing with some form of our activities being limited, and some people have been dealing with almost complete isolation. No matter who you are, you are probably doing life differently than you did before COVID-19. And it’s not much fun. For us, it means no more live music nights or premieres. In fact, 90% of my social life has been canceled or postponed until…who knows when that will be?

In the meantime, I have compiled a few activities my wife and I engage in, both to keep our social skills honed and to combat this loneliness that is part of the pandemic. Try these out, if you like.

1. Leave the TV on if you are on your own.

Movies or even the news (if it’s not too depressing), game shows and soap operas will fill your space with the sound of other human beings. This reminds you that you are not so alone.

2. Make those Zoom calls a priority.

If you haven’t seen your loved ones in a while, Zoom is a godsend. Video calls have evolved from a business tool to a survival tool, and they are helping us stay connected with the people we love most. And it’s also keeping many people comfortably employed.

3. Take long walks.

Walking is good for you on many levels. The exercise lowers anxiety and depression, and it’s nice to greet people as you pass. See how saying hello brightens your mood. The spring blooms and animals you pass on your walk also can’t help but make you happy to be alive and available to experience this.

4. Get together with others outside your immediate family.


Even if you are in a couple or part of a larger family, you may long for some social interaction with other people as well, and that’s pretty normal. We still get together with some folks, but we follow all the protocols to the letter. It’s not the same, but humans need one another’s company. It’s in our DNA.

5. Tend to your garden.

We have developed a deeper relationship with ours. The house has always been adequately landscaped, but in the last couple of years we have started growing flowers and giving our pomegranate tree some extra love. What we get back is the gift of beauty and flavor and a sense of caretaking that is surprisingly fulfilling.

6. Get daily outside exercise.

This has always been a must for my wife and dog, and it is now my go-to as well. If a client needs to see me in person, we do a walking or outdoor session. Being in nature and the fresh air can’t help but make things better, and it’s good for your body, mind and psyche.

7. Help others in need.

I try to help the people I can who are struggling with their survival during this painful time we’re all sharing. Sometimes I give money, other times I give counsel, and upon occasion I am just there to listen. Giving back makes me feel relevant. I’m grateful to be able to help others at this time when the world needs help more than ever.

Before the pandemic, we were out several nights a week, and going to events was part of my work — it even got a little boring after a few years. Now I would give body parts for a Wolfgang Puck buffet line at a low-budget premiere. No matter what, I always laughed when I was hanging out with my peeps, and that’s what I miss the most. So until we can play again, my friends, I hope these tips to deal with the isolation blues might make this time a little easier for you too.

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