An American on lockdown in China shares some tips for staying sane while social distancing
via Pixabay / Peter Martin / Twitter

The COVID-19 virus is a serious threat to the world's health. But there are also many issues facing those that remain healthy during the crisis, mainly the psychological effects of social distancing.

Humans are social beings. That's why we punish people through imprisonment and the reason that socially-isolated people have a higher mortality rate.

So if you're feeling depressed or distressed during lockdown it's important to know that it's normal and there are ways to improve your sense of well-being.


"Isolation, physical distancing, the closure of schools and workplaces are challenges that affect us, and it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness at this time," Hans Kulge, the director of the European branch of the World Health Organization said.

"It is essential to address the public mental health of people during the following weeks," Kluge added.

The stress of isolation can be so debilitating it can be difficult to cope.

Bloomberg journalist Peter Martin has been socially isolated in China without a housemate for two months and his family is overseas. So, as someone who has more than a few weeks of experience being on lockdown, he took to Twitter to share some helpful tips to stay sane.

Rebecca Dolgin of Psycom says there are a few groups that are more likely to have a hard time social distancing, young adults (16 to 24), women, people with a history of psychological illness, healthcare workers, and those who have one child.

Dolgin also says that fear, anxiety, depression, boredom, anger, frustration, and irritability are all common reactions to social isolation. "The further you are from engaging with others and feeling a connection, the more of an impact it will have," Dr. Adam Kaplin, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, writes.

Dolgin says that we can maintain our psychological well-being by acknowledging what's happening and that it is stressful. She also says it's important to stay in contact with loved ones, even if it's just through social media and real-time video chat programs such as Facetime.

Like Martin, Dolgin also agrees that we should all manage our news consumption.

"Being informed doesn't require you to act like you're a newsroom producer," Dolgin writes. "It's okay to set a few times a day where you'll check in for updates."







via Chris Potter / Flickr and Mike Mozart / Flickr

In the '80s, Americans lived through the Cola Wars, one of the most aggressive battles in the history of corporate junk food giants. Back then, there were only two real choices: Coke or Pepsi. Which, if you could tell the difference, kudos for your amazing sense of taste.

Today, America is besieged by the Chicken Sandwich Wars which began as a skirmish between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes and has since grown to include Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's.

A recent report found that Americans' spending on chicken sandwiches has quadrupled since Popyeys challenged Chick-fil-A. Although other companies have since jumped into the fray, Popeyes appears to have benefitted the most from the skirmish.

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via Chris Potter / Flickr and Mike Mozart / Flickr

In the '80s, Americans lived through the Cola Wars, one of the most aggressive battles in the history of corporate junk food giants. Back then, there were only two real choices: Coke or Pepsi. Which, if you could tell the difference, kudos for your amazing sense of taste.

Today, America is besieged by the Chicken Sandwich Wars which began as a skirmish between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes and has since grown to include Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's.

A recent report found that Americans' spending on chicken sandwiches has quadrupled since Popyeys challenged Chick-fil-A. Although other companies have since jumped into the fray, Popeyes appears to have benefitted the most from the skirmish.

Keep Reading Show less
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If you've ever donated to a cause but worried that your contribution wasn't really enough to drive real change, you're not alone. As one person, it can be tough to feel like you're making a real difference, especially if you don't have a lot to donate or if times are tough (aka there's a worldwide pandemic going on.)

That's why, for years, the idea of philanthropy felt a little bit like a rich person's thing: if you had millions, you could donate and make change. The rest of us were just tossing pennies into a cup without really doing much.

But that's a problem: the priorities of a wealthy few don't represent the priorities of many, which means that good causes are often left underfunded, leading to a lack of meaningful action.

The thing is: it doesn't have to be like this. We can all make a difference, especially if we pool our money together.

Enter: Giving Circles. These are when groups of people with shared values come together to drive change. They do it by pooling their time and money together, then deciding as a circle where it should go. That way, they can cause a real targeted change in one place quickly in a very people-powered way by giving what they can, whether that's volunteer hours, money, or a mix of both. Best of all, Giving Circles are a social experience — you get to work together as a community to make sure you do the most good you can.

In other words, giving circles are a way to democratize philanthropy, making it more accessible regardless of your age, income, gender, or race.

That's why this year, The Elevate Prize, a nonprofit founded in 2019, is launching a new pop-up "Giving Circle" program so that problem solvers, budding philanthropists, and anyone that wants to do good can come together and drive real impact at a large scale. And you can do it all in just 90 minutes.

All you have to do is join one of the Elevate Giving Circles online. Learn about organizations doing good for the world, then pool your money together, and as a group, direct it where you think that donation could make the most difference.

But that's not all: every single donation made is matched by the Elevate Prize Foundation — basically guaranteeing that you double your impact for good. The theme for the first cycle is education, and Elevate Giving will match up to $75,000 in total donations for each cycle.

Ready to get involved? Elevate Giving experiences start June 26th, so sign up now for your spot to make a difference. There's no minimum fee to join either — so get involved no matter what you have to give. Now that's philanthropy for all.