Staying Social During Social Distancing
Social distancing are two words that have been mentioned quite often in the past few weeks. To stop the spread of coronavirus, health and government officials recommend avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people. This reduces the chance of contact with those knowingly or unknowingly carrying the infection.
Although this sounds like a good idea, not connecting with people you see often can be very hard to deal with. It can affect our mental well-being by making us sad and even anxious. But there are options to get through this trying time. You don’t have to be in the same space as someone to stay connected. In this virtual world we live in, we can all stay in touch.
Six Ways to Stay Social While Social Distancing
1. I’m just a phone call away! We have all heard that familiar saying and it’s true. Pick up a phone and call a loved one or friend to see how they are doing. A phone call is an especially good way to keep in touch with elderly relatives and friends who may not use computers.
2. If you are using a cell phone, Facetime, Skype or Google Duo are great options to actually see the other person if they have that option as well. You get to chat without spreading any germs!
3. Texting (but not while driving) is a great way to quickly check-in with friends and relatives.
4. Social media is a great way to check on others and see what they are up to. You can join a conversation or message others individually. Your newsfeed might be offering some useful tips on what they are doing to keep busy.
4. Google Hangout (google.hangouts.com) is a great way to connect to family members or friends as a group.
5. Socialize with your family! Take this time to reconnect to your loved ones at home. Enjoy a nice meal together, play a board game or watch a movie together.
“It’s important to not isolate yourself totally as physical distancing should not become social isolation,” said Bridget DeFiccio LPC, Senior Vice-President, Integrated Health, Acenda. “Don’t be afraid or panic, but do keep communicating with others. We will all get through this and be stronger for it.”
Although being isolated can have negative effects on us, taking a mental health “break” from COVID-19 and all of the information coming at us, could be just what the doctor ordered. Here are four tips to make space for your mental health in the days and weeks ahead:
- Stepping away from watching the news.
- When talking with family or friends, ask that another subject be discussed and not make the focus about COVID-19.
- Find a “spot” in your home where you can go for some quiet time to just reflect or maybe read a book or do a hobby.
- Think positively about the future.
“Distancing ourselves mentally can be helpful for our well-being as long as we spend that time doing things we enjoy so we don’t feel lonely and sad,” added DeFiccio. “Whether just having some quiet time, or being active at home, giving your mind a break from all of the chaos can be very effective.”
If you are feeling anxious or stressed about the restrictions due to COVID-19, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.