Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic health experts and government officials have asked us to do our part in battling the virus by practicing social distancing. By staying home when possible and keeping six feet apart when out and about, we can all help to “flatten the curve” and protect our communities from infection. Unfortunately, this kind of isolation can be difficult for many people.
Humans need social contact in order to maintain wellness and good health, especially during situations that elevate our anxiety, such as this pandemic. While we are social distancing and quarantining, a lack of human contact and connection can exacerbate stress and loneliness. But the good news is there are plenty of ways to stay connected even when our regular routines have been impacted.
Dr. Leah Welch, a psychologist at Scripps Health, explains, “With the technologies we have available today, we can stay home and protect against COVID-19, but still remain socially connected with people we love and care about via text, phone call, video, and many other platforms.” For those who are feeling the effects of loneliness, TeknaByte has compiled this helpful guide of ways to remain social during social distancing!
During non-pandemic times, social media is often lamented for causing isolation. However, during the era of social distancing, technology has the power to prevent feelings of loneliness by helping to build and foster community! Many of us wrap up our days by spending time with friends or family to decompress. Thanks to video chat apps, you can still do this virtually!
There are several video conferencing software platforms that will allow you to see your loved ones face-to-face, even if only over a screen. Some possible platforms are FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. These apps allow you to start your day with loved ones over a cup of coffee or host a digital dinner party.
Netflix also offers Netflix Parties a way to watch television with your socially-distanced friends and families. House Party is a video chat app for smartphones that allows you to play digital games while video conferencing! We are lucky to live in a time where technology makes it possible to see our loved ones even while quarantined.
With concerts being canceled and museums shutting their doors, the opportunity to connect with people from your local community seems all but impossible. However, many companies are adapting to our new normal by offering virtual versions of events!
Yoga studios, gyms, museums, and even zoos are offering creative opportunities to enjoy their services digitally, most of the time for free. If you’re missing your workout partner, take a virtual exercise class with them; personal trainers and major exercise franchises are currently offering free digital classes.
You can also tune into live online concerts on Facebook and YouTube, both of which offer chats to engage with other viewers. Joining online book clubs and discussion groups is another great way to connect with people from around the world who have similar interests.
The English poet Lord Byron once said, “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” With quarantine and social distancing measures implemented across the world, now is the perfect time to cultivate connection and community through letter writing. Writing letters is a great way to check on loved ones and stay up-to-date on their lives, but it also offers another benefit: it boosts your mental health!
Lily Brown, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia explains, “It provides enhanced structure around the day, particularly for people who take a moment to be reflective about it. It might also help people get a sense of giving back to society by doing something that’s consistent with their values, and those kinds of activities are really likely to be helpful in the face of a really isolating crisis.”
While writing letters to friends and family keeps you connected to them, there are also programs to write to people you may not know but who are in need of support, such as senior citizens or prisoners.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean total isolation! For those without any risk factors, driveways, yards, and sidewalks are the perfect place to get together with neighbors. In times like these, connecting with our communities is more important than ever to our emotional wellbeing.
Dr. Richard Novak, the head of infectious diseases at University of Illinois at Chicago, says it’s best to gather outdoors where the air exchange is less likely to transmit the virus, especially with social distancing measures implemented. Get together with your neighbors to create driveway and sidewalk art. If the weather is amenable, set up tents in the backyard and have a neighborhood campout. You get a projector, hang a sheet in the backyard, and have a drive-in movie night!
Although the way we communicate and spend time with friends and loved ones has been forced to evolve in these uncertain times, one thing that cannot be allowed to change, even despite the current pandemic, is technology-driven businesses must stay proactive in ensuring the strength of their IT and security!
If you find yourself in need of a IT consulting and managed IT services provider that you can count on, look no further than TeknaByte. As the top managed IT services provider in Indianapolis, we provide consistent quality and go the extra mile for your business. Contact us today!
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