March 31, 2020

Wellness Wednesday: How to Feel Connected While Social Distancing

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on all of us. Whether you or someone you know is battling the illness, or you’re hunkering down and practicing #socialdistancing like most of the country, it’s safe to say this has been a difficult time for everyone. And we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. National guidelines for social distancing were just extended through the end of April, meaning that we should work from home, avoid non-essential travel, and not gather in groups of more than 10 people for weeks to come. Despite this being a time of isolation, it is important to remember that we’re all in this together. With that in mind, we want to dive into how you can feel connected while social distancing during this pandemic.

  1. Connect With Your Loved Ones via Video Chat
    In order to feel connected while social distancing, it is important to reach out to your friends and loved ones, even while you’re hunkering down at home. We are social creatures, and researchers say socialization is critical to our mental and physical health, as well as longevity. While it may be more difficult now to feel connected, putting in the effort to reach out and talk to your loved ones could be a big mood booster. Video chatting has been a game changer during this pandemic, and there are plenty of things you can do, besides catching up. There has been a surge of online fitness and yoga classes during the pandemic, so you can pull up a workout or home practice from your favorite teacher, and get your sweat on at the same time as your bestie. For a morning catch up, call your loved one up for a smoothie or coffee date from the comfort of your sofa. And if you want to have a movie night together, there are plenty of ways you can still binge-watch that series you’ve been meaning to get to, with tools like Netflix Party, which synchronize your playback. Plus, you can do any of these things as a group video chat with several of your favorite people. However you do it, set aside some time for FaceTime every day, to remind yourself you’re not alone. 
  1. Ingest Inspiration to Remind Yourself We Are All Connected
    While medical experts say social distancing is essential to slowing the pandemic, and helping the healthcare systems manage their patient loads, it can make us feel exactly that: distant. To feel connected while social distancing, make time every day to ingest some inspiration. Whether it is an uplifting talk on social media, a motivational podcast, or some heartwarming news stories, there are plenty of resources at your disposal. Making the conscious effort to feel inspired and connected during this isolating time can boost your mood, help keep your spirits up, and maybe even motivate you in other aspects of your life. 
  1. Limit Your Time Online and Reconnect With Yourself
    Most of us are spending many more hours at home, and with that, comes the potential for increased social media use, and screen time overall. While there are plenty of entertaining and informative things online right now, it may be good to know where to draw the line. In general, researchers have concluded that increased use of electronic devices may be linked to a decline in happiness. In order to feel connected while social distancing, you can take advantage of this time at home to reconnect with yourself, away from the screens. You could journal, meditate, or get a breath of fresh air without your phone. Nourish your body with a meal you love, get creative with some art supplies, or take time to knock some books off of your reading list. How you spend this time social distancing is up to you, and if you see it as an opportunity for growth and personal development, you have the chance to make the most of your time alone.

If you are feeling isolated, anxious, or nervous during these times, you are not the only one. The use of digital mental health tools has spiked during this pandemic, as have mental health posts on Instagram. What that means is that many of us are experiencing the same fears and anxieties, and are trying to figure out how to cope. Finding ways to stay connected to your loved ones, with the world, and with yourself may help your overall happiness and wellbeing, and help you remember you are not alone during all of this. Since we’re all in this together, we want to hear from you. What are you doing to stay connected during social distancing? Leave a comment and share your thoughts, and pass along your ideas to your loved ones. As a collective team, we can help each other get through this.