During the coronavirus pandemic, our lives and routines have been thrown into flux. With all of this change and uncertainty, it is no wonder that many of us are feeling mental and emotional distress, in different forms. Because we are all going through this together, we want to dive into how we can support each other during quarantine. When it comes down to it, this is a collective experience, and it is important to take care of one another, to come out the other side stronger than ever.
Check in on your Loved Ones
While working from home and practicing social distancing, you may be seeing your loved ones less often than usual. But in order to best support each other during quarantine, take the time to check in on the people in your life periodically. This can be an isolating, lonely time, and your loved ones may need you now more than ever. And sometimes, it can be tough for someone to reach out and ask for help when they need it most. By checking in, you could be making a huge difference in their mood and stress levels, and help give them the boost they need. When you talk to your loved ones, be clear with your intention to check in, and let them know that you are there to hold space for them. That way, they will feel free to really open up, and you can maximize your potential to support them. Plus, when you start this dialogue, you can also share about your needs for support, thus creating a network both for you and the people close to you. And despite being far, the great news is that there are many ways you can feel connected while social distancing.
Understand unique needs for space
During these challenging times, there have been big shifts in our physical locations, and changes in the way we spend time with each other. For example, you may be quarantined with the same people in one space, which can lead to a mix of feelings. To best support each other during quarantine, understand that there may be unique needs for space right now. Acknowledging and respecting needs for space can help reduce stress and tension, and even help nurture your relationships during this time. To identify these needs, you can first look inward, and take note if you need space right now. This could be from people, from a place, or from work. Write down what you notice in a journal entry, and withhold judgement from yourself. Needing space is not a negative thing, but it can be important to find ways to take it, to relieve the pressure you may feel. After you work through your own needs for space, try to view your loved ones through this lens. That way, you can best respect their particular needs and wishes. You can also start a dialogue with them about this, and check in on their needs for space, to strengthen your network of support and clarity during this time.
Find ways to support your community
While social distancing is a stressful experience, it is important to remember that your community is going through this together. In order to best support each other during quarantine, find ways to support members of your community. This is crucial because the stronger your community is, the better it will be able to weather this storm. And you truly have the power to help others who are going through this with you.
- Support your local heroes: Healthcare workers and other essential local workers are in the trenches of the coronavirus pandemic. Staying home is a crucial step in supporting your community healthcare and other essential workers during this time. You can also donate a pizza or personal protective equipment to your local hospitals, or call your healthcare centers directly, and see if there is something in particular they are in need of.
- Support others in your community: If you want to donate your time, many food banks across the country are in need of volunteers, even in the wake of the pandemic. You can also run errands for elderly neighbors, or other people in high-risk groups.
Take care of yourself so you can best support other people
In order to best support each other during quarantine, we need to make sure we are best supporting ourselves, so we do not feel overwhelmed. Last week, we talked about some ways you can stay grounded during this uncertain time. Taking time to take care of yourself is important, especially if you want to be available for other people. It can be challenging to try to hold space for others, when you are feeling stressed or anxious. When you are feeling your best, your most steady, and your strongest, you are then well-equipped to support others during trying times.
During this time of coronavirus, quarantine, and social distancing, supporting each other may be one of the most useful tools we have. We would love to hear how you and your network are supporting one another during this experience. We all have the power to support our loved ones, our community, and our own wellbeing, and that support can be a transformative tool.