The whole world is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and as we face each new day in these unprecedented times, we need to remember, more than ever, that we can’t do it alone. Connection with others is vital for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.
If you’re practicing social distancing as a preventative measure, or you’re in self-isolation due to COVID-19, it’s important to stay connected. Social distancing doesn’t mean socially isolating, and might be more aptly called “physical” distancing. There are so many other ways to stay connected to those we love, those who love us, and our broader support network. Get creative, think outside the box. Here are some ways to stay connected while practicing social distancing:
Phone: Pick up the phone. Call a friend, a family member, someone you’ve been thinking of, someone in need. If you don’t have anyone to call and you’re in need of immediate crisis support, our Four County Crisis line is open 24/7: 705-745-6484/1-866-995-9933.
Text messages: This can be any text messenger you like (SMS, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, etc). You don’t have to have anything in particular to say. A simple “how are you?” or “I’m thinking about you” or “I’m feeling anxious right now and could use someone to listen to me.” Share GIFS, memes, picture you take, ideas you have, how you’re spending your time, what you’re learning, etc.
Emails: This can be great if you prefer to take your time and write longer messages without an immediate response. Start a group email with your family, friends or colleagues where you can share with each other how you’re feeling, what’s on your mind, etc.
Video calls: There are so many different options for video calls these days. Use whichever one you feel most comfortable with. Have a coffee or dinner date with a friend via video chat. Do crafts, art, writing or other creative projects together. Do a show and tell. Have a virtual dance party or a virtual sing-along. Just spend time together.
Go outside: The Centre for Disease Control recommends maintaining a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from others when possible. So get outside, go for a walk with a friend in the many beautiful parks and nature areas in our four counties. Just avoid touching public surfaces and wash your hands once you’re back inside.
Join virtual social gatherings: Some churches, yoga studios and group gatherings have developed virtual options. Find out what your community is offering.
Many therapists and other health providers are also offering their services virtually, by phone or video. Call your provider to find out if this is an option for you.
Please reach out more than ever during this time and stay connected. You don’t need to navigate this alone. We are all in it together.