As the length of time that social distance is recommended for becomes longer and longer, it’s natural to begin feeling disconnected, lonely, and maybe even anxious. Without your usual support systems and routines, you can lose your bearings and begin to feel a bit helpless, especially in the face of all this information regarding coronavirus. Finding ways to stay occupied and stay connected with friends and family can help a great deal in easing these feelings and adding some normalcy to an unprecedented time. Fortunately, you have a number of options for staying connected.
Staying in Touch with Friends and Family
You’re living with technology that provides plenty of options for staying in touch with others virtually. You have the options of phone calls, video calls, social media, or even sending a text for a quick check-in. There are also many ways you can get creative with how you use these options for staying connected.
There are so many apps that can be used for video calling, you have an almost endless number of options, and some of them may already be on your devices. One of the most popular applications for video calls at the moment is Zoom, but other options include Skype, Google Duo, Facetime, and Houseparty. Many social media platforms and messaging apps also enable video calling, including Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Although talking and catching up is great, video calls don’t have to revolve around talking. They can be used to host a game night, group work out, book club, happy hour, movie night, or a virtual dinner party. The opportunities for creative ways to get together are endless, and it allows you to feel closer to others even when you can’t physically be with them.
Social media is another way for you to stay connected with the people that matter most to you as well. If you’re not familiar with social media platforms, now is a great time to spend some time exploring them and familiarizing yourself with sites such as Tik Tok and Snapchat. These are the platforms that younger users tend to use most, so if you have grandkids or kids in middle and high school, they’re probably using them. For older members of your family, Facebook and Instagram are likely where they spend most of their social media time. Many musicians are even using their platforms to hold live concerts, giving you plenty of ways to stay occupied on social media.
While staying connected is a great use of social media, limiting the time you spend there may also be for the best at the moment. While social media allows people to stay connected, a good amount of misinformation about coronavirus is being spread there, so it’s important to pay attention to where the information is coming from. If it can’t be linked back to a trusted resource like the CDC or other government agency, it most likely isn’t trustworthy information. However, even when the information is accurate, social media can cause information overload that leads to feeling anxious and helpless. It’s just as important to protect your mental health as your physical health, so doing what you can to avoid this overload will be just as important as finding ways to stay connected.
Figuring out ways to stay connected virtually that work for you will be incredibly valuable during this time of social distance. Even if you may not be in the mood to socialize, connecting with others will remind you that you’re not alone, regardless of whether or not you are physically, so it’s beneficial to make the effort to stay in touch.
Remember, these resources for connecting with friends and family can also be used for connecting with health professionals. Many facilities, including ours, are providing telemedicine services to allow patients to get the help they need from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Our patient liaisons are more than happy to assist you by phone and answer any questions you may have.
The most important things are your health and well being, so try to stay home as much as possible for the sake of your safety and the safety of those you may come into contact with.