Within 24 hours amid worldwide protests, 21,000 new coronavirus cases emerge. What did they label the United States? “Worst-Affected” country with an overwhelming 1.8 million cases and 106,046 deaths. Experts are constantly reminding us that social distancing will remain our best weapon to slow the spread of this new virus, but after months of hunkering down from shelter in place orders everyone just wants out. We are all feeling the emotional pressure to come together but building psychological strength will help us adjust to this new norm.
Just because we have these new social rules to adhere by, doesn’t mean this is the new punishment. In other words, socially distancing doesn’t mean socially isolate. Let’s toss that thinking away and replace it with physical distancing. The novel corona virus has written us all into a chapter that’s titled “Stay Home” and the lack of human contact can cause loneliness, stress and anxiety. The longer one stays isolated from physical contact, your risk for experiencing fear anxiety and depression is greater.
Human creativity is the key to staying apart but sticking together. There are many benefits by staying connected socially, mentally and emotionally. Research has provided evidence that individuals with a strong social connection have greater self-esteem, better mental and physical health, a stronger immune system and live a longer life.
What are some ways that we can stay connected, but 6 feet apart?
- Let the world see what’s cooking. You may be hoarding some real cooking skills that others would love to see. Make a dessert, your favorite treat or a whole dinner. Go live with friends or have a virtual cook-off with family.
- Exercise With a Partner. They could be in your town or across the globe. There is Duo, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger readily available for you to use to do your workout.
- Volunteer With Community Support Groups. This can be either over the phone or safely in person, to support others who are not socially connected.
- Visit a park with a friend. There’s lots of space to physically distance there. Enjoy the human interaction and take in nature. Allow yourself to be present.
- Throw a Netflix party. The Chrome extension adds a chat room to the screen. It will allow you to talk chat about characters together.
- Join the D Nice Live Instagram DJ Party. Enjoy some music and dance the night away with people across the globe.
- Scroll Together. Instagram launched a “co-watching” feature to it’s platform. You and a friend can now turn the solo mindless act into a socially entertaining one. It allows you to screen share while scrolling posts.
- Set Up a Remote Lunch Hangout. Have a bite to eat with your co-workers and chat like you did when you were at your job.
- Start a Friends Group. Invite friends to create simple vlogs for each other to share. (Think skin regimes, styling outfits, organizing today or just getting ready to tackle the day)
- Expand Your Network. Find a social platform community on Reddit or Facebook that shares your profession or interest etc.
Distancing physically rather than socially will enable us to support each other and our own health and well being.