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You’re Not the Only One Feeling Lonely Due to COVID—Here’s How to Deal

From Bumble’s Dating 101 in 2021 guide.

What’s more frustrating than feeling lonely? Feeling lonely while single and stuck at home due to a global pandemic. If that sounds like you, you certainly aren’t the only one feeling that way—in fact, 2 in 3 daters on Bumble say they’re feeling lonelier because of COVID-19. But the good news is that there are quite a few things you can do to feel a little less isolated right now.

In order to combat loneliness, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, expert on social connection and professor at Brigham Young University, suggests maintaining the connections that you have in creative ways—even speaking to neighbors from over your balcony or across the street has been found to diminish loneliness.

Also helpful? Small things that you can add to your day, like meditation, spending time outside in nature, and creative expression, which can be with anything from journaling and cooking to listening to a symphony via streaming.

Our physical health is linked to our social and emotional health, so to deal with negative emotions, Dr. Holt-Lunstad recommends keeping to a regular routine, and prioritizing your sleep, exercise, and nutrition. But perhaps the most enjoyable and good-karma-inducing way you can deal with COVID-induced loneliness is by offering help to friends and people you know.

“One of the key things you can do is to support other people,” says Dr. Holt-Lunstad. “Research shows that helping others, whether that’s volunteering or providing emotional support to a friend, actually has a greater benefit than even receiving support.” Simply reaching out to someone and telling them something you appreciate about them will not only make them feel better, but it’ll make you feel better too. And that’s pretty wonderful, right?

Overall, remember to have compassion for yourself and that this state of social isolation is temporary. Your social life and connections might not look the same right now, but no ones do. And we all have to find a way to be okay with that for now.