SO! There’s a worldwide pandemic and your local government has told you to engage in social distancing for an unknown amount of time and you want to NOT go crazy?
I’ve got you covered.
We humans are a social species. In other words, we need each other in order to thrive.
And not knowing how long we’ll be needing to limit our exposure to most of our friends and family can be a nerve-racking, mind-bending thing to ponder.
Weeks? Months? Years?!
The jury is out on having a hard and fast estimate on how long this social distancing thing will be asked of us, but whether you live by yourself, or with your family/significant other, there’s something in here for everyone.
Without further ado, here are four things you can do to make sure you’re getting your social needs met while social distancing and/or self-quarantining from this whole COVID-19/Coronavirus thing.
1. Phone your favourite people more
Back in the pre-pandemic times, it was SO EASY to just go about your day to day life and not make connecting with your favourite humans a priority.
Days, weeks, months, and even years could pass by without you picking up your phone and talking to someone that you loved. Either because they lived on the other side of the world… or because it’s just easy to get swept up in life and not make calling them a priority.
Well, now’s your chance.
You’ve got a lot more time on your hands now, and your mental health requires you to connect with others often. So give them a call!
Whether it’s your parents, your childhood best friend, or someone who you appreciate that you don’t get to connect with often enough who lives in another country. Chances are, they’ll be happy to hear from you. So reach out to them. You’ll both be glad you did.
2. Engage in regular video calls
Modern technology is just fucking great.
You can video chat with people halfway across the world for free… and literally see their face moving in real time, from a device that spends most of its time in your pocket. Absolutely bonkers.
Whether you call grandma on FaceTime… and your friend Sally on Skype… or you get a Zoom account and you have ongoing group chats with friends (you can co-work together, you can chat casually, you can start/run an online business, you can start/run a men’s group) the sky’s the limit!
3. Keep round the clock texting and/or WhatsApp threads going
Maybe, for the stage of social distancing you’re in, hopping on regular calls feels too obtrusive for your lifestyle. Totally fine.
If that’s the case, keep a text thread going round the clock with all of your favourite people so that you’re keeping in touch about your day to day lives.
It doesn’t have to be much. Sending out a simple ‘I just learned this new song on guitar!’, or ‘Look at this new recipe I just made!’, or ‘Oh god when will this thing be over it’s only been a week and I’m already feeling super cage-y will the world as we know it ever be the same again??’ goes a long way.
4. Go deeper in your calls than you historically have
Another thing that you may have taken for granted in the before times is just how much regularly connecting with people nourished your soul.
Well, practicing social distancing and being physically distanced doesn’t have to mean that you need to be emotionally distanced. In fact, many people find it easier to cultivate more depth in their interpersonal connections when they get to speak through a screen.
In short, I would encourage you to go deeper in the conversations that you have with loved ones while engaging in social distancing.
Ask questions like:
– What are your fears when it comes to this virus?
– What’s something that you think you will miss about your life over the next little while?
– Are there any things that you’re excited about when it comes to this temporary lifestyle shift?
– What opportunities do you see?
– Do you think you’ll need any kind of support in the coming months?
Ask these questions, and also answer them, to the people that you feel the most comfortable with. When dealing with uncertainty, it’s important that we get to feel free to speak our minds, and let our thoughts, fears, concerns, and hopes be heard by others.
And while our grandparents and great grandparents got hauled off to massive world wars… we’re being asked to just stay inside a lot for a number of months. So it could be a whole lot worse.
And you know what? I believe in us. We can handle this. And not just tolerate it, but grow from it.
It’s easy in a time like this to let our minds win. To let fear and uncertainty stop us in our tracks and even paralyze us. But resilient people are also born in hard times. Epic romances are born in times of tragedy. Countless millionaires have been forged during economic downturns. Great works of art have been created while people were self-quarantining (fun fact: Shakespeare wrote King Lear while quarantined from the plague). Whenever there is a crisis, there is also an opportunity. Don’t let this one pass you by without taking advantage of it. I promise you this… there ARE gifts to be gleaned from this situation. You just have to have your eyes open enough to see them.
Dedicated to your success,
Pps. If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading:
Ppps. If you are looking for some additional 1-on-1 support over the next little while, you can either hire me to talk on a call, or if my coaching rates are prohibitive for you, then you can sign up with BetterHelp, which is far more accessible for most people.