Human beings are social creatures, and therefore, social connectivity is important to our well-being and stress management. Being connected to others creates feelings of belonging, love, and purpose. Many people are asking, “How do we stay connected during a time of social distancing?” Here are some tips:
Log on to Social Media
Typically we say that social media creates feelings of isolation, but during a time like social distancing, it can help us feel connected to others and recognize we are a part community of people who are all dealing with social distancing.
Do a phone or video chat
Similar to social media, this will help us feel connected to others and recognize that others are sharing similar experiences and feelings. Just being able to hear someone else’s voice and laugh with someone else will help cheer us up. Additionally, because some of us don’t have that much going on, we might find that we are having more quality conversations with people compared to the past when we were busier. Additionally, it’s helpful to let someone else know that we’re thinking about them.
A lot of places like gyms, yoga studios, colleges, and community centers are offering free virtual resources. If you can find a virtual event for something that you enjoy, you’re likely to feel connected to people that have similar interests, and you’ll be more likely to maximize your free time.
Reconnect with family
This is a great opportunity where we can enjoy spending time at home with your family with little distractions. People are limited with their ability to do things outside of the home, but they also have fewer social events to talk about, plan for, or discuss. This leaves everyone more time to be present and engaged in the relationships in the home. We might find that it’s difficult to engage in conversations with our family members because we’re spending so much time together. So here are some suggestions of activities that you can do with your family:
- Focus on dinner time— cook and try out new recipes together. This might help to re-instate daily dinners.
- Add excitement by adding competitiveness— play board games, video games, or get moving together by playing sports outside.
- Prepare for the summer— plant a garden or do yard work.
Hangout with your neighbor
It’s easier to set boundaries with neighbors by chatting with neighbors across yards or from our driveways.
Using some of these suggestions, I am surprised to have found how I am feeling more connected to others during this period of social distancing than other periods of times. As a therapist, I know and believe in the importance of being in the presence of loved ones. So why has this been my experience? Here are my thoughts:
- With extra time and the void of social interactions, I am prioritizing the opportunities that I have to stay socially connected.
- Since we don’t have shared experiences, I am choosing to pick up the phone and share stories with other people. Therefore, I am invested and actively working on keeping my relationships strong.
- I am engaging in quality time with other people, where my only goal is simply to be present with them, listen, and share.
Not only do I hope that the suggestions help you feel connected throughout the remainder of this quarantine, but I hope that we can learn from this experience and apply it to our social interactions in the future. Feel free to reach out to one of our therapists at The OCD& Anxiety Center if you are having trouble feeling connected or feeling lonely. You can reach us at (630) 522-3124. Stay healthy!
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