Let’s face it: times are tough right now and every single one of us has been affected some way or another by this global pandemic. Whether you’re now working from home, temporarily out of a job, or suddenly cooped up all day with three energetic kids, you’re likely feeling the effects of COVID-19 big-time.
Not to mention, this whole new concept dubbed social distancing – that is physically distancing yourself from others to prevent spreading illness – can take some getting used to as well. With that said, practicing social distancing does not mean that you have to disconnect entirely. After all, studies have shown that humans not only crave social connection – but it also may improve our health and longevity.
Here are 20 ways you can connect with yourself (and others) during this challenging time of social isolation.
1. Check in with Your Loved Ones: Have you checked in with your loved ones lately? Now is the perfect time to pick up the phone and give grandma a ring, or check in with that friend who’s been particularly struggling. Not only will it feel good to catch up, but studies indicate that social support can decrease stress and be key for our mental health.
2. Curate Your News Feed: It may seem like COVID-19 is all the talk right now – and that’s partially true. With that said, many reporters tend to share the shocking a.k.a “bad” news more often.
Take a tip from Mr. Rodger’s mother, and “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Curate your news feed with accounts that make you feel good, and look for good news with resources like Good Good Good. If all else feels, it’s always OK to turn off the news altogether if it becomes too much.
3. Spread Positivity: Speaking of the news, do your part to share good news and happy thoughts; it’ll likely be a breath of fresh air and can really go along way.
Post a photo of your adorable new puppy, share that hilarious meme you can’t stop laughing at, or write a positive message on the sidewalk with chalk for your neighbors to stumble upon!
4. Embrace Video Calls: With the current state of the world, now’s the time to finally embrace Facetime and video chats. If you can’t get together in-person, seeing their face is the next best thing!
5. Start a New Blog: Have you been dreaming of starting a blog for years now – but you just didn’t have the time? Now that you’re spending more time at home, it’s a great time to start a blog. The topics are endless – from recipes and knitting to wellness and mom life. Just ask yourself what lights you up, and run with your passion!
6. Join or Start a Facebook Group: With the new social distancing guidelines, many folks are leaning on virtual groups for support from the community. With a quick search on Facebook, you’ll find there are thousands of groups out there, so join a few that speak to you. And if you consider yourself more of a leader of the pack, now is a great time to build your own online community!
7. Host a Virtual Game Night: Maybe you can’t meet with your friends and family members IRL (in real life) right now, but you can meet with them virtually. During this time of social distancing, many folks are looking toward virtual game nights as a social alternative.
Here are a variety of games you can play virtually with your crew; just choose a game and let the laughter and friendly competition begin!
8. Learn a New Skill: Spark your creativity by learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby! Perhaps that means finally putting together a family photo album, taking an online photography course or even starting a garden. You’ll be amazed at what you can create!
9. Check in with Your Mental Health: Have you checked in with your mental health lately? With everything going on in the world right now, there is a lot of change, unknowns and challenges – and it can bring up a lot of anxiety for some. Take some time to slow down, quiet your mind and ask, “How can I take care of myself in this moment? What do I need right now?”
10. Start a Gratitude Journal: While it may seem difficult to think of what you’re grateful for lately, practicing gratitude is important now more than ever.
If you’re still not convinced, studies have shown that focusing on feelings of gratitude may be linked to a heightened wellbeing and may even have a positive impact on one’s mental health.
11. Book a Therapist Appointment: These times are difficult and unexpected – which can bring up feelings of anxiety, loneliness and anger. Don’t be afraid to seek help — by talking to a close friend or hiring a therapist to talk about your feelings in safe place.
Many therapists are offering virtual appointments to stick to the social distancing guidelines, or you can try a digital service like Talkspace – connecting you with a licensed therapist “from the palm of your hand.”
12. Take a Virtual Workout Class: Maybe your Sunday yoga and brunch plans have been put on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your body moving! Get your sweat on with a virtual workout class – including dance, yoga, Zumba and even family-friendly workouts for the kids to join in on too!
These popular brands are now offering virtual workout classes for you to stay active at home, and there are also plenty of free options out there in your local community! Just do a quick search on Facebook or your community page to see what’s being offered each week.
13. Go Digital: It’s time to embrace this new norm and go digital! Teachers are now checking in with their students through virtual classrooms, and many experts have adapted by offering their courses online – from meditations to budgeting workshops.
14. Practice Meditation: Stress makes it difficult to quiet your mind – wreaking havoc on your physical and mental health. Try slowing down by practicing meditation.
It can even be as simple as sitting on a blanket outside and taking some deep breaths – feeling the sunshine on your face and listening to the birds chirping. If you need some extra guidance, a meditation app like Calm may be helpful.
15. Take Up Journaling: Writing can be extremely therapeutic, and it’s a wonderful way to clear your head by putting pen to paper. Dust off an old journal, and get started by simply writing about how you’re feeling in this very moment.
Try not to judge or think too much into it – just allow the words to flow and see what comes up for you. Not only will this feel good to clear your head, but studies have shown journaling can be a supportive tool in managing depressive symptoms.
16. Connect with Nature: Allow Mother Earth to be your playground! Just because you’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the great outdoors.
Get outside to breathe in the fresh air, get grounded and connect with nature. Note the smell of the fresh flowers, the sound of the birds chirping or the way the grass feels on your bare feet.
17. Cook a Nourishing Meal: Throw on an apron, and nourish your body with a home-cooked meal! Browse some simple recipes for smoothies and smoothie bowls here, or bust out the family recipe book for some tried and true favorites.
Feel free to get your whole family involved by giving everyone a task. DIY pizza night, anyone? Even the littlest chefs can have fun helping with toppings!
18. Send Some Snail Mail: There’s nothing like receiving a surprise package or letter in the mail! Consider sending a handwritten note, having your kiddos make a colorful drawing, or placing an order for a special flower delivery to let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them.
19. Lend a Helping Hand: How can you do your part to lend a helping hand and give back? Maybe it’s sending a letter to the staff at your local hospital to thank them for their hard work or offering to go grocery shopping for your elderly neighbors.
These acts of kindness can go a long way – and help you feel connected to your community during this tough time.
20. Slow Down and Connect with Yourself: Last but not least, consider using this time as a chance to slow down and connect with yourself. There is no pressure to do more or get all the things done; you can also use this time to just be.
Let us know how you’re staying connected while social distancing by tagging us on social media @vibranthealth
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.