Over the past few months, people all over the country have been staying home for the health of their families, loved ones, and communities. Social distancing can be challenging, as we are not able to see our friends, families, or loved ones in person. This can easily exacerbate feelings of sadness, anxiety, worry, and isolation. During the time we are asked to stay apart, we need each other more than ever.
Even though we may not be able to connect in the ways that we’re used to, we can still maintain our social and emotional health and well being by staying connected virtually. Our social wellness is connected to our sense of meaning and belonging, as well as to our emotional and metal health. Even connecting with others for just a few dedicated minutes per day can combat the impact of social distancing. It’s important to remember to let someone know what you need during this time, in addition to checking in with others.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation may disproportionately affect those whose primary sources of connection are community based. Although we may not be able to attend these events in person, there are ways to maintain those connections virtually.
Try the following ways of connecting with yourself and others virtually – compiled by our Margaret’s Place counselors – until it is safe to do so in person:
- Write or create art about your experience and share it with family and friends. Look for healthy and safe ways to express your experience.
- Nourish your physical self – the mind and body are connected. Look for ways to connect with nature, even if you can’t get outside.
- Maintain routine where possible and set boundaries around the way you spend your time. Connect when you need to and disconnect when you need to.
- Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. Find an online group who shares your interests.
- Start a virtual book club with a group of friends. Read a book together and check in to discuss.
- Schedule video calls with friends and family like you would schedule a work or school meeting.
- Take virtual tours of museums, national parks, and more both in and beyond your own geographical region. It’s a great time to explore arts and culture!
Remember to keep in touch, and be well!