Social distancing

How to stay connected while social distancing

Now that we are all having to spend more time at home, keeping in touch with friends and family can be a challenge. While social distancing is necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19, it can also lead to feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness. The good news is that you can still stay connected to other people even if you can’t visit them in person. You can also use this time to create healthy and positive habits, such as taking regular exercise, journaling or meditating.

Use video calls to stay in touch

We are inherently social beings and human interaction is more important than ever during these worrying times. Thanks to technology it is now possible to catch up with friends and family anywhere in the world without being physically present.

Use FaceTime or another mobile video call application to chat with friends over lunch, coffee or after work cocktails. If you have children, they can enjoy virtual playdates with their school friends and connect with grandparents, who are self-isolating at home.

Create a routine that works for you

If you’re not used to working from home, you may find the adjustment a struggle at first. Be realistic about what you can achieve and avoid falling into the trap of being overambitious with your to-do list.

When you are working on your own with no face-to-face interaction, it can be easy to just move from one task to another without leaving your desk. Make sure that you take regular breaks and get outside for some fresh air. Reduce feelings of isolation by connecting with your colleagues via email, messaging apps or video conference meetings.

Find ways to connect with your family

Make the most of this enforced time at home by spending quality time with your immediate family. Instead of just slumping in front of the TV, you can cook a meal together, do some gardening, work on a DIY project or have a family game night.

The situation we find ourselves in is by no means ideal, but you can try to make the most of it by looking for the positives. Taking a walk or going on a bike ride together will help you stay active and disperse any irritations that arise from being cooped up at home.

Write a letter to an elderly person

April is National Card and Letter Writing Month and a great time to revive this traditional form of communication. A letter doesn’t only bring joy to the person who receives it, but writing one can also be therapeutic in itself.

In the US, children are being asked to write letters and draw pictures to send to residents in care homes across the country. With restrictions on visiting in place, these letters are a thoughtful way of brightening the days of our most vulnerable citizens.

Prioritise your wellbeing

Don’t forget to connect with yourself. During this time of social distancing, it is possible that stress, anxiety and even depression start to get a hold on us. While it is important to listen to the news and stay up date on the current situation, try to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of constantly checking for updates.

Exercising (whether outside or at home), meditating or journaling will all help to keep stress at bay. If you live on your own, make sure that you talk to one friend or family member each day and be honest about how you are feeling. For those who are really struggling, there are online therapy services that can be accessed through your GP or healthcare provider.

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