How to Stay Connected While Physically Distancing
by Amanda Walberg
Limiting our physical interactions doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected to one another.
Feeling disconnected from family and friends can have a significant toll on our mental health and wellbeing. Thankfully, technology has made it much easier to stay connected to our loved ones from a distance. Social connectivity helps to increase feelings of happiness and togetherness, while decreasing feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety. During difficult times, it’s especially important to maintain social habits.
Staying connected at this time means to:
Check-in on your family. Everyone is experiencing physical distancing differently. Kids are away from friends and teachers at school, and they might start to find themselves bored and looking for someone to talk to. Grandparents and senior relatives may be missing out on regular visits and have limited ways to interact. Check-in on your loved ones by arranging a time to chat. It will put a smile on their face and yours.
Make time to connect with friends over phone calls, texts or video. We are social beings that require emotional and/or social support. Keep in touch with your friends by having weekly calls, either individually or in groups. FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom are examples of free video chat platforms that you can take advantage of. Get a group together for virtual chats, dinner dates, or coffee hangouts. Seeing loved ones through video chat can help with that sense of loneliness, making us feel more connected.
Get some fresh air. While technology is a great way to stay connected, sometimes we need a break. Take a walk by yourself or with someone you live with and acknowledge those you see. Whether it’s a quick wave or chat from a safe 2 metre distance, connecting with your neighbours while getting some sunlight is a great way to stay connected and enhance your well-being.
Stay connected with co-workers. Whether you are working or are unable to, check-in with your co-workers. Talk about how working remotely or adjusting to being off work is going and share some ideas for productivity or at-home hobbies. Keep it positive and reminisce about good times or funny memories.
Celebrate the special days and traditions. With birthdays, holidays and traditions coming up for your family and friends, make sure they are still celebrated. Organize a virtual dinner date or after-dinner hangout for your loved ones to celebrate those special days and traditions. Send pictures or videos of what each household is up to on that day and share some laughs from a distance.
Play online games and watch movies with friends via social connecting and video apps. If you and your loved ones enjoy movie or game nights, try the websites Netflix Party and Houseparty. For that movie-night feel, Netflix Party allows a group of people to watch the same movie and talk about it on the side of the screen. Make some snacks and have a virtual movie night! Houseparty is a free and user-friendly app that allows you to video chat and play games with friends at the same time.
For more suggestions on how to stay connected while physical distancing, visit https://bit.ly/StayingConnectedDuringPandemic