Maintaining Social Support
Remember that “social distance” does not mean “emotional distance”! Let’s not lose sight of the need to reach out and connect with those most important to us including family, friends, and colleagues. It’s easy to stay connected electronically via phone, texts, and our social networks, even as we practice social distancing. Maintaining ties with others can help to decrease feelings of social isolation and to maintain a sense of community and connection during stressful times.
Here are several tips that may help you get the most out of your social interactions:
- Take advantage of technology. Now is the time to get online! One of the true benefits of today’s technology is the ability to connect with others remotely at any time and place. Social contact with others can also reinforce the idea that we are “in this together” and can help to decrease feelings of panic, helplessness, and loneliness. Try to limit the amount of time you spend venting about frustrations and inconveniences related to recent coronavirus restrictions; instead, spend more time talking about the upside of the situation. Share inspirational stories, helpful tips, and coping strategies that others may find helpful. Let’s stay positive together!
- Be creative with your connections. When connecting on social networks, be creative and work to keep it positive. Consider new and interesting ways of spending time online with others: play a game, watch a movie or show, share a healthy meal, or exchange positive stories and affirmations. Loneliness can take a toll on a person’s outlook and physical well-being, so this can be particularly meaningful for those who are living alone or are in social isolation or quarantine.
- Be kind. Consider check-ins with elderly people who may be on their own or need more support, but make sure you are healthy first. You could offer to pick up groceries or medications, or complete other little tasks for them. Helping others, even in little ways, can be very meaningful during this time. Helping others can also reduce anxiety and boost your mood by switching your focus from your worries onto helping others instead.
- Get out of the house. Consider little outings that combine social and physical activity. Go for a walk with a friend or a family member around your neighbourhood, at a park, or on a local trail. This allows you to get outside, be active, and enjoy time in nature. Just make sure that you are practicing appropriate social distancing measures!
- Don’t forget about us! Remember that your Newtopia Inspirator is always here to support you! Your Inspirator can provide helpful tips, creative ideas, and flexible plans to help you stay on track with your health goals, even more than usual during this challenging time.