It seems as though each day brings more news of the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) than the last.
Coping with the impacts and changing realities of the novel virus is hard enough. In recent days, Bay Area counties are implementing the public health safety precautions of keeping our distance from others as to mitigate the spread of this highly contagious virus, and to reduce the spread to immunocompromised individuals and others in high risk categories.
Finding ways to connect with others during these physically isolating times remind us that we’re not alone and helps us continue our social routines.
Social distancing can feel like a relief for some, and for many this can throw off rituals and practices for connecting with others and getting our social health needs met. Not attending to our social health needs may result in greater feeling of loneliness and lack of support.
It is more important in times of crisis that we keep our communities strong.
And this is true even in the midst of social isolation ordinances. Connecting with others is good for the soul, as well as to make sure our communities have the support and resources they need in times of great uncertainty and overwhelming chaos. Finding ways to connect with others during these physically isolating times remind us that we’re not alone and helps us continue our social routines.
Six Ways to Maintain Connections with Others and to our Support Systems
#1 Schedule phone or video calls with friends and family. Your regular time with friends doesn’t have to stop due to social-distancing. Scheduling calls or video chats can keep us connected to our loved ones and we can look forward to planned social time.
#2 Start an online group or meeting with pals. Maybe try planning a group chat for your next book club meeting or Dungeons and Dragons meetup. Finding routines we can engage in is important when our typical routines are so disrupted. Starting a consistent group is a great way to form a routine and also have fun connecting with others.
#3 Video Conferencing Into Community and/or Spiritual Gatherings. Meditations, religious congregations, 12-Steps, PFLAG groups and more are continuing their gatherings through video conferencing. Check in with your communities and find out what’s continuing virtually.
#4 Mutual Aid. If you’re getting supplies from the store, perhaps you could pick up some supplies for another person and drop them off on their doorstep. Supporting each other with basic needs through this difficult time is good for community connection and it can boost our spirits to help others.
#5 Write a letter. Snail mail is a meaningful and intentional way to show our loved ones we care about them and are thinking of them. This is also an excellent creative outlet that we do not often get to use when we are away from home working or on the go.
#6 Give teletherapy a try. Well Clinic, and many other organizations, are available to provide video and phone therapy during social distancing and shelter-in-place ordinances. While teletherapy may not be ideal for everyone, teletherapy provides a way to reach out to another person and receive support. We are living in a time of great uncertainty and stress, and therapy might be a helpful place to share about how this impacts you and cope with this time.
About the Author
Micah Rea is an Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) at Well Clinic in San Francisco. In her words, “I work collaboratively with each client to create a space where they can express their full selves.”Learn more & book an appointment today
- Peer Run Warm Line (Chat with someone ready to talk to you!)
- Bay Area COVID-19 Mass Resource List by Freedom Community Clinic