By Kasper Johansen
Self-isolation is hard for people young and old, but scientists are teaming up to uncover exactly why so many are struggling while stuck at home because of coronavirus.
Experts at universities across the state including, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia (UWA), are studying the negative effects of COVID-19 isolation rules on feelings of loneliness, anger and anxiety.
The researchers hope to uncover what behaviours can support resilience in the community and at an individual-level during the pandemic.
“We may not realise when and how it’s starting to impact us, it may be gradual changes in how quickly we are to become angry or upset, it may be sleep problems, feeling nervous or just flat emotionally,” University of Western Australia psychologist Dr Julie Ji says.
Meanwhile Murdoch University criminologist Professor Guy Hall says that the imposed isolation rules will have larger behavioural effects on people.
Professor Hall said in an April blog post that an upsurge in domestic violence is likely as frustration levels increase.
“Living under imposed social-isolation and physical distancing is going to be challenging for everyone, perhaps for different reasons, but it’s something that we are all having to adapt to very quickly and dramatically,” Dr Ji says.
Dr Ji says they’re not certain how well people are coping yet, as it takes time to monitor people’s behaviour.
The study is seeking volunteers to share their daily experiences of mandatory or voluntary self-isolation and physical distancing by completing online daily surveys over a 14-day period.
“Shifting our perspective and reappraising the situation, or practising mindfulness and meditation, can help with emotion regulation,” Dr Ji says.
If you or someone you know needs help or are suffering from mental health issues contact:
Headspace on 92089555 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.