Written by: Alexandra Reustle, MA, Doctoral Intern
The term social distancing in many ways does our communities a disservice. While we should be refraining from direct contact with others or having large gatherings, there are still opportunities for us to connect with one another and engage socially. Below I outline some suggestions to maintain a social connection with those around you without compromising your health and the health of others:
· Video Chat: Use the miracles of technology that many have right at their fingertips. Today we have access to so much more than just making a phone call (although nothing wrong with that!). FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Portal, Google Home…the list goes on and on. Having that face-to-face contact, even mediated by a screen, goes a long way to feeling connected to others.
· Family Dinners: For many, the hustle of work-life balance often makes it difficult for the whole family to sit down for a meal to just talk about life. However, now that many are moving their lives indoors 24/7 this presents a wonderful opportunity to bring out the instant pot you’ve been too scared to use and have a go at preparing a meal. Involve the whole family in the cooking process, and maybe make some fun memories to recall in what is otherwise looked at as a dark time. Cooking not your thing? Support a local business and order take-out or delivery! Then, sit down with one another and have a good conversation about something other than work, school, and the news. Or maybe take this time to have a good family conversation about your feelings, concerns, and worries. Food is healing.
- Extra tip: Invite family to dinner…virtually! Call grandma and grandpa on FaceTime (or whatever platform) and prop them up to share a meal together.
· Support your Neighbors: Stories from other countries such as Italy and Spain of individuals singing to on another on their balconies and setting designated times to come out and clap for our healthcare workers are amazing ways communities have found a way to stand in solidarity together while physically staying apart. If singing isn’t your thing, maybe make some signs of encouragement to hang off your balcony or put up on your garage. Know of an individual in need in your community? Order some groceries and have them delivered to their door. Place a candle on your windowsill at night to add some light. This is an opportunity to get creative and spread some hope.
· Write a Letter: Although many public services are shut down, the mail is still being picked up and delivered. Why not reignite that old art of writing a letter and send a message of hope and love to friends and family?
Remember, just because we are physically distancing doesn’t mean we have to forgo engaging socially and supporting one another from afar.