Social distancing, self-isolation, lockdown – these previously unfamiliar terms have become part of everyday life in 2020. We’re all learning to live with a new reality – at least for now – and finding our feet as we remain in our homes, work remotely, try to stay active, and manage our physical and mental health as best we can.
As we’ve seen around the world, social distancing is one of the key weapons in the fight against COVID-19. This physical disconnection from our friends, families and neighbours has been a tough pill to swallow. Social interaction and community is, after all, a vital component of our wellbeing. And when we feel isolated from others, feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression can be amplified.
But while we have to be physically distant for now, we can still plug into the social connections that help bolster our moods, make us feel part of our communities, and lessen those feelings of isolation. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Be intentional about staying in touch, e.g. make a roster of friends and family to catch up with on a weekly basis.
- Use video conferencing tools to have family video calls – it’s a great way for grandparents and grandkids to connect.
- If you’re in lockdown with your family, prioritise having dinner at the table together rather than eating in front of the TV.
- Continue your normal routine where possible, e.g. hold your book club on Zoom or Skype.
- If you feel a bit disconnected from your community, consider joining your neighbourhood Facebook or WhatsApp group.
- If you’re still working at home, stay connected to your colleagues via work chat groups.