Staying socially and psychologically connected during Covid 19 Pandemic
‘Stand By Me…but not too close!’
The world has been in lockdown since March 23rd 2020. Since there, there have been various terms being thrown around which has caused confusion, the main one being ‘social distancing’. So how do we stay connected during COVID 19?
We hear it every day and it is plastered all over the news, online, in local amenities and in our workplaces. But what does social distancing actually mean?
If this is to be our ‘new normal’ how are we going to stay socially and psychologically connected to each other whilst maintaining social distancing?
Humans are social animals. We crave connection so let’s break down the stigma associated with social distancing and get to grips with the facts to keep ourselves connected as we enter and adapt to this new normal.
Ask the question; what is social distancing? Reframe the meaning.
The term ‘social distancing’ has caused some confusion. We need to remember that we are not being asked to socially distance in order to isolate ourselves, but rather, we are being asked to distance ourselves 2 metres away from others.
Think of this time not as social distancing but as physical distancing. You can still be connected during COVID 19, just in a slightly different way. We may be physically apart but we need to stay socially and emotionally connected. There is no reason why we can’t be in the company of others as long as we are 2 metres away.
We don’t live in the Stone Age. We have the technology!
Technology allows us to stay connected, even during a pandemic! There are an array of methods in which we can connect with people in the form of phone calls, emails and text messages, however, research has shown that seeing people we care about and hearing their voices boosts our immune system!
So how we can boost ourselves online?
Phone Calls – Sometimes the good old fashion simple phone call is the best
Video Interface – We have ample ways to stay connected to others through Skype, FaceTime, Facebook live, Zoom, etc. Schedule bedtime stories with grandparents, coffee time, kids play dates, weekly quizzes or just time to chat with friends.
Virtual Book/Film Club/Exercise Group – Create a virtual book club, film review group or exercise group to meet regularly to talk and socialize. It gives you a good reason to finish that book or movie you have been wanting to watch or get fit during the pandemic.
Understandably, technology isn’t for everybody, so what other ways can we connect offline?
Grab a pen and paper and write a good old fashioned letter!
Putting things into written words especially to loved ones can mean a lot more than receiving a text. Having that keepsake makes the words even more special.
Visit and chat over the fence or in an open space.
This can really boost your mood and provides a level of closeness in real life without ‘breaking the 2-metre rule).
Have a balcony or driveway 2-metre social distancing gathering.
Even when social distancing, you are still able to socialise with your neighbours. Maybe have a theme to get people involved and feel connected.
See if there are any community projects or ways to support the local community.
There are many ways you can support your local community during this time; all it takes a bit of creativity. Doing something for others can leave you feeling psychologically happier knowing that helped them. Ask yourself:
- Can you do grocery shopping for someone in need?
- Can you support your local restaurant or cafe with takeaways and make their day (and support their livelihood)?
- Can you help a frontline worker by providing a meal, or just saying thanks?
When you do go out and about, smile, wave and say hello to other people.
There is an instinct fear that we need to move away from each other. By all means, wear a mask but don’t forget that we don’t just stop being human because we are behind the mask.
Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media in relation to Covid-19 and get the facts!
It is hard to know what is fact and fiction with the ever-changing turn of events. Check a reliable news source and limit the time that you spend on it.
This is a good method to reduce anxiety and overthinking things. It allows you to take control and filter information that you are processing.
There is no denying that being socially connected is more important now than it has ever been. If we are to truly keep ourselves socially and psychologically well moving forwards, we need to maintain connectedness by encouraging it rather than fearing it.
If you need any support with connecting in your relationships, especially if you have been separated or social distancing in your romantic relationships, then get in touch with us at My Family Psychologist.
We offer couples therapy and solution-based family services to help you connect better with the people you love the most.
I hope you enjoyed the 'Staying socially and psychologically connected during Covid 19 Pandemic' article.
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