Pinterest pin for staying connected in a virtual world

In honour of National Hug Day and Brew Monday this coming week, I thought I’d shed a little bit of light on staying connected and communicative during Covid times.

Obviously, self isolation and physical distancing put constraints on our ability to experience things as we normally would. That physical closeness is a visceral absence in many of our daily lives. We’re living life in 2D at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t connect with people, build new bonds and relationships, and spend quality time with our distanced loved ones.

Feeling so isolated – physically and emotionally – can have a really detrimental effect on our emotional well-being. So giving time and energy to reaching out and connecting – although it might not be easy if you’re already struggling – is a great self-care strategy. Sometimes you might just really need your alone time, and that’s absolutely fine too! Just try and keep in tune with yourself and what it is you really need to nurture yourself.

Hugs and coffee dates are off limits at the moment, but here are a couple of ways we can stay connected during the pandemic and lockdown:

    • Zoom calls2020 was practically sponsored by Zoom! It allowed us to be present with our family and friends despite lockdown and social distancing. Many Zoom quizzes were had in early lockdown. Through the modern magic of video chatting we’re able to play games and have a laugh safely, have virtual dinner parties and coffee dates and generally spend time together and catch up. Why not make a plan to have a brew with your besties over Zoom this week? It is Brew Monday after all!

 

    • Social mediaSocial media can be a tricky one to navigate. If you’re able to curate your feed so that you can only see posts from accounts that comfort, inspire or reassure you, and not ones that prompt you to compare yourself or stress out, social media will be a much more beneficial tool. You don’t need to start your day feeling less than just because you haven’t done an hour of yoga and made a smoothie bowl this morning. Social media can be a great way to share and receive valuable resources and provides a platform to be honest and vulnerable. It certainly has the capacity to help us feel less alone in the current climate. Just be conscious of how you’re using it.
    • Facebook groups – Facebook groups are another valuable means of sharing support and resources and fostering connection, whether they’re related specifically to mental health or another niche that you’re interested in. I run the Inspire You Facebook community group which you can join here to share support and resources for anybody who wants or needs it. Come and get involved!
    • Netflix partiesThis handy little browser extension is a great tool for evoking that sense of connection and the sharing of an experience. Watching a show together can be a great bonding experience, gives you something to chat about, provides a good distraction and can be lots of fun! With Netflix party, you can write in the chat box while you chat and see everybody’s reactions – great energy!
    • Watching YouTube vlogs Watching other people navigate this strange time by documenting their 2020 journey, even if we’re not physically present with them, can help us feel less alone and comforted. Maybe you’ll find someone you relate to a lot, and others you might not – but it still could be interesting to see how different people are managing the situation.
    • Write letters to a friendOkay, this one is a little old school, but it could be fun, provide a good distraction and creative outlet, as well as creating some really interesting mementos from this strange time to look back on a few years down the line. Some say letter writing is a lost art! Maybe now is the time to resurrect it?
    • Journaling and meditation This one is oriented around staying connected with yourself and honouring all of your emotions. In order to have energy to share with other people, we need to make sure we look after our own energy and give ourselves the time and space to care for ourselves and recharge. Journaling and meditation can be good practices for helping us get in touch with our feelings and intuitively feeling out where we’re at.
    • Daily walks – This one might not always be feasible, but if you’re able to take just a quick stroll for some fresh air, just being out in the open and seeing one or two people from afar can bring us a little bit of reassurance and help us feel less cooped up and isolated.

I don’t think “social distancing” is the right term – I think “physical distancing” is more fitting. We don’t have to sacrifice our social lives and connections to stay safe. In fact, we need them now more than ever!

I hope this list was useful to you. Stay safe and take care of yourselves!

Claire

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