By: Susan Riley, LCPC, EMDR

Clinical Therapist, Grow Wellness Group

In this age of Covid-19, we humans have felt deep fear, uncertainty, grief and loss and upheaval of everything that has felt normal up to now. How this will affect so many in the coming months, a time of cold and increasing darkness could exacerbate what we are all dealing with.

In Naperville alone, 40% of the population lives alone. As the population has been told to avoid physical contact, keep a minimum of six feet from other people and wash our hands, we have had to forego satisfaction of one of our most basic needs, human touch and social connection.

And, the Research Behind the Psychology on the impact of isolation:

Research on the challenges experienced with lack of social contact and human touch has been ongoing, especially 1999 and what is called “failure to thrive,” and 1975 with the ACEs study.


What to Look out For:

Common trauma responses are:

  • Having strong negative beliefs about yourself, other people, or the world.
  • Loss of interest in activities which you used to enjoy.
  • Feeling distant or cut off from other people.
  • Trouble experiencing positive feelings, such as loving feelings for people close to you.
  • Irritable behavior.
  • Feeling especially guarded.
  • Feeling jumpy.
  • Having difficulty concentrating.
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • We are all afraid for our loved ones. Some of us have seen people we cared for struggling with this disease and sadly, some of our loved ones have died.


What Can We Do About it?

Building resilience is something each of us can do to ease some of this isolation.

  1. A goal for those who do live alone could be to make some additional efforts at social connection now, while the weather is still warm. If you have the resources, join an organization whose purpose fits your values. Even remote involvement will add to your resilience. Keep to your structure. Purposely say hello to your neighbors. Telephone friends and family regularly. Develop the safest ways you know how for interacting with a couple of people face-to-face.
  2. Get outside every single day. Meditate or pray. Get daily exercise. Eat healthy food. Keep to your regular self-care with good grooming. Learn something new. Keep a journal and write about what you are grateful for and why you are needed in this world. Limit watching the news; about 30 minutes a day should be sufficient. Watch movies and tv shows that make you laugh. Look at what medical experts have to say in the ongoing work to develop treatments and a vaccine. If you are concerned about any medical condition, contact your physician or the local health department.
  3. If you still struggle with this, reach out and do some regular telehealth counseling sessions or face-to-face therapy sessions with one of our licensed clinicians in our Naperville, IL office. We can help you identify some day-to-day goals, challenge your negative thoughts and feelings, and strengthen your innate resilience.

Remember: You do not have to be alone in all of this! Grow Wellness Group is here to help!

Grow Wellness Group Provides:

Individual Counseling, Family Counseling, Marriage & Couples Counseling, Depression Counseling, Anxiety Counseling, Major Life Transition related Counseling, Grief / Loss Counseling, Trauma Counseling, & Divorce & Co-Parenting Counseling and Post-partum Depression, Child Counseling, Teen Counseling,  Post-partum Anxiety, Teleheath Counseling / Teletherapy and more.


Who We Serve:

Individuals (across the entire age life span), Families, Marriages and Couples, Teen and Adolescents, Children (4-5+), and employees in overcoming a range of personal and/or interpersonal obstacles


Grow Wellness Group

200 E. 5th Avenue, Suite 109

Naperville, IL 60563