Social distancing, a term most of us never imagined having to incorporate into our everyday lives; however, it is evidently becoming our new norm. But we are social by nature, and it’s so important not to mix up social distancing with social isolation. Keeping our connections and relationships is critical for both mental and physical wellness. Below are five tips on how to maintain your social connections while social distancing.
1. Leverage the latest technology for connecting with others.
Virtual hangouts? Whether you are a fan or not, it is so essential to make sure you leverage the technology available to mimic your regular social interactions (as much as possible). Video is always better than a phone call, and there are a lot of great platforms to leverage, such as Google Hangouts and Zoom, to help facilitate face-to-face connections and continue establishing those emotional bonds.
2. Schedule virtual interactions and stick with it.
Just as you would for a dinner or gathering, make sure to schedule these virtual hangouts. Once you have an idea of the interactions that work best or provide the most significance to you, add them to your calendar. That 4 pm weekly happy hour or yoga class can be something, you and your friends look forward to!
3. Use social media – but in a more active way.
Instead of just passively scrolling through your Instagram feed, take this time to engage on the channel actively. Share your experiences and comment on others to create a meaningful social community. PS. What a great time to go through and let go of anything negatively impacting you.
4. Perform little gestures to others.
The little things go a long way, especially during times of uncertainty. Offering simple gestures can help maintain or create connections with people you wouldn’t have ever before. Whether it’s picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor or sharing your streaming subscription with a friend, these gestures won’t go unnoticed during this time.
5. Use this time to rekindle relationships.
Before this, it seemed our weeks flew by, and before you knew it, six months had come and gone. Use this time to go through your ‘phone book’ and catch up with people who wouldn’t usually fit into your schedule. Get a group chat going with your former university roommates or a past co-worker. Don’t worry about these conversations lasting hours at a time; it’s the quality of the conversations that help create meaningful connections.
Digital & Social Media Specialist