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How to handle loneliness and get what you need from relationships while living through a pandemic, with Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Adam Borland

Dr. Borland shares helpful tips for navigating feelings of isolation on this week's episode of the 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast

CLEVELAND — In this week’s 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast, a Cleveland Clinic psychologist answers listener questions on how to handle loneliness related to the COVID-19 pandemic and get what we need out of all types of relationships when we can't be together in person.

Dr. Adam Borland, who specializes in adjustment difficulties, confirmed that pandemic loneliness and sadness is impacting all of us, even people who live with others, in our conversation published on Saturday, December 5 (scroll down for the podcast, and links to subscribe).

"Just because we have others in the home with us doesn’t mean that there aren't times when we may be feeling lonely," he said.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, being lonely affects both mental and physical health.  In some cases, these types of feelings can have long-term health consequences.  

Dr. Borland shared tips with me on how to care for ourselves and others, when it comes to our relationships with family, friends, romantic partners and even co-workers.

Plus, 3News reporter Lindsay Buckingham shares what you Need to Know in NEO about the unique opportunity to connect with others that she had a hand in bringing to Northeast Ohio.

And I fill you in on why ISSA certified personal trainer Sara Ann Davis is such A Good Follow on Instagram, based on expert advice that physical activity can be incredibly helpful for dealing with difficult emotions.

Throughout our conversation, I presented Dr. Borland with specific questions about handling those types of emotions from 3 Things to Know listeners, sent to me over Twitter and Instagram.

One listener asked how best to tell a family member or spouse when you're feeling ignored, to which Dr. Borland replied:

"If this were a patient presenting this type of situation, I would recommend that they use what we call an 'I statement.' 'I'm feeling alone.' 'I'm feeling as though I'm not really being heard.' 'This is what I'm hoping we can do together moving forward.' So really taking ownership of those feelings and communicating them with your significant other, or with your family.'

Dr. Borland's advice kept circling back to the importance of clear communication, because people aren't mind readers. He emphasized that when we do our part to be as open as possible about our feelings, it can be beneficial to everyone involved.

For the full conversation, search for '3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney' on your favorite podcast platform, or follow the links to subscribe to the show here:

Check out these resources for mental health support:

Mental Health America of Ohio (MHAO)

MHAO offers free counseling to people who qualify in parts of Ohio.  

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals that provide in-office and online mental health care at reduced rates to individuals, couples, children, and families in need. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA provides resources for many mental health issues, including but not limited to tips for isolation during the pandemic. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

You can also reach the Lifeline by texting "4HOPE" to 741-741.

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