Isn’t it funny how we used to dream about staying at home alone, tucked away from the rest of the world with no one to bother us? Yet now, a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, those of us in self-isolation are finding ourselves dealing with loneliness – a kind that we’ve perhaps never felt before.

It’s not just the physical aspect of being away from your family and friends. It’s the very real and tangible idea that the world might never be the same again. Who knows if you’ll still be able to see all your loved ones after this? And who knows how going to work, eating at restaurants, or taking a walk on the beach would be like in the months to come?

Nobody knows for sure, but you can learn how to cope with loneliness so you can at least achieve a sense of well-being even during these unprecedented times.

The coping methods for loneliness help not just with dealing with problems you may have today. They’re also good habits to start cultivating now so you can look forward to a happier, healthier future.

Connect with loved ones on social media.

Using technology to get in touch with the people you love is one of the easiest ways to cope with loneliness. There are plenty of apps you can use for that. In fact, you’re most likely using them now. You have Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp. You even have Zoom for huge online gatherings. Whatever app you choose, remember that it’s not the platform that matters. It’s the quality of the interaction that does.

Join online events.

People may be cooped inside their homes, but that’s not going to stop them from socializing. If you do a quick search, you’ll find plenty of online events you can join even while at home. You can join live stream classes or go on virtual museum tours. You can even organize your own events and invite friends and family to come. For instance, you can hold a watch party for a favorite movie or TV series and watch together.

Get healthy.

What you feed your body you feed to your mind as well. While it can be tempting to snack on chips and sugary chocolate bars all day long, it’s not going to do wonders for your brain, not to mention for your belly. Self-isolation may be the best time to start feeding your body the nutrients it needs. You can also check out YouTube for hundreds of workouts you can do at home. If you have access to a balcony, a garden, or even a park with proper physical distancing protocols, spend time outdoors and take in all the fresh air you can.

Establish a daily routine.

Sticking to the same activities at the same time every day gives you a sense of control, even if just for a little bit. You don’t have to stick to this routine forever. Given the volatility of the situation, it’s a feat to even be able to keep your routine for the next two or three days. If that’s all you can accomplish, that’s fine. As long as you can maintain a semblance of structure, you can bring back a sense of normalcy into your life.

Get involved in a project.

Self-isolation is forcing people to confront the idea of themselves. And if you’ve been feeling small and inconsequential as a result, you might be yearning to be part of something bigger. Engaging in a project that’s meaningful to you can help. It can be anything you like, whether it’s raising money for families that live in poverty or reconnecting with a craft or hobby that you abandoned a long time ago due to lack of time. Whatever it is, a project can give you something to look forward to in these uncertain times.

Use social media consciously.

It can be tempting to go on Facebook and stay on Facebook all day long. After all, you want to connect with people, don’t you? But the wrong connections can make loneliness worse. Make sure to connect only with people you want to connect with. And stay away from anyone who posts things you’d rather not see. Also, don’t focus too much on the news these days. It helps to stay informed, but everything you already know to keep safe from COVID-19 you already know. If you want to stay in the know, a short catch-up at the end of the day should do.

Focus on the now

Don’t think about the past. You can’t bring it back. Don’t think about the future. It’s not yet here. Think about what’s here now in front of you. Focus all your efforts on the things that you can control, like what you eat, what you wear, who you follow on Facebook. And when you get thrown off track – because it can happen, especially during these times – stop, close your eyes, and take three long, deep breaths. It sounds so simple, but three simple breaths may be all you need to bring you back into this moment.