Let’s face it, we’re all going a bit crazy with our current temporary way of life. Being separated from our close friends and family, becoming make shift teachers, working from home (if you’re able to), and cooking three times a day; it’s a lot. If you’re an essential worker, although your job has remained the same, the knowledge of the invisible enemy is constantly at the forefront of your mind, not to mention the process you go through when you get home at night to ensure you don’t contaminate your home or family. Some essential workers have had to separate themselves from their family out of fear they will bring something home to them unintentionally. We’re all in some way or another isolated from the outside world, or the world that we’ve known most of our lives. So how do we stay connected with others while we’re social distancing? Here are a few tips.
Virtual Gatherings: While right now many of us need a night to let loose with our friends to relieve some stress, it’s not necessarily in the realm of possibilities. But there are several ways you can stay in touch virtually.
- Zoom Events: Zoom is a free app that you can download on your phone or computer. Once you’ve signed up, you can set up a virtual event for your friends or family, share a link with them, and go for it. Set up weekly meetings with your friends or use it for virtual celebrations. If someone has a birthday, anniversary, engagement, or anything else you’d normally throw a party for, why not do it virtually? You can all see each other, talk, and enjoy the company. It’s a great way to keep in touch and stay connected with your friends when you can’t be together in person.
- Netflix Party: This is a Google Chrome extension and requires all parties to use Chrome on desktop. You and your binge-watching friends all must install the extension. Once that’s done, you get on Netflix and prepare an episode or movie, then click on the NP icon in your extension bar. It will give you a link that you can send to your friends. You can watch the episode or movie together, it will be synced up, and there’s even a built-in chat interface so you can talk about the show.
- Video Chatting: No matter what kind of device you use, video chatting is easy as can be. You can Facetime, use Facebook Messenger, Google Duo, or Skype with just a few clicks. While talking on the phone keeps you connected, actually being able to see who you’re talking to gives you a bigger sense of connection. Video chat as often as possible and stay closely connected to everyone in your life.
Create Neighborhood Chalk Art: Who says social distancing means you can’t get some fresh air while spreading neighbourhood cheer? Draw an uplifting picture, or write encouraging words throughout the neighbourhood for others to see when they’re walking/driving. Get the kids involved too! Don’t underestimate the power of a positive word. Of course, be careful, and stay safe when you’re making this chalk art, but spreading cheer throughout your neighbourhood is sure to keep you feeling connected.
Quarantine Baking & Drop Offs: Many of us have been getting in the kitchen a little more often, and what spreads cheer better than baked goods? Get some of your energy out, make some of your favourite goodies, and drop them off on the porch of your neighbour’s house with a nice card, and a kind encouraging word. Nothing feels better than doing something nice for someone else. We’re all in this together after all.
It’s easy to get down when we’re separated from all that we are used to, and what our normal lives generally look like. It’s easy to question ourselves and even our purpose during a time like this. It would be easy to withdrawal, and distance ourselves from our loved ones. Keeping yourself connected with others right now is incredibly important. Use one of these tips to stay social while practising social distancing.
Your therapist, Rute Fernandes