A month ago, most of us had never heard the term “socially distancing.” Now, it’s everywhere. It’s our new way of life. While it’s for the greater good, it can be lonely. Here are some ways to stay connected while maintaining social distance.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
- Join a Facebook Group of People in A Similar Situation: To feel less alone relate to peers. I am in a local moms group, several church groups, multiple medical groups (including ones for physican’s spouses and people married to people providing direct care for Coronavirus patients), and others.
- Facetime: Facetime relatives you can’t see. FaceTime their cat. Let your kids FT grandma and only show her the ceiling fan for 20 min while they sing Baby Shark on repeat, I promise she’ll still love it.
- Zoom: Have a Zoom happy hour with your girlfriends after bedtime. Reschedule moms groups/excercise classes for online. I’m considering doing a Zoom birthday party for my son since we have to cancel his where the kids sing happy birthday with their own treats.
- Massive Text Chains: One of my greatest joy during this whole mess is seeing 48 missed text messages. My group of high school friends and some other groups have held my emotions in check with daily check ins and funny memes.
- Memes: I personally love injecting humor when things are hard. If it’s not for you, don’t do it, but I for one love it.
Get Creative In Your Neighborhood
- Side walk chalk: Anything from pretty pictures to inspirational quotes will give dog walkers and families alike something to smile at as they move through the hood.
- Organize A Neighborhood Window Zoo: Kids place stuffed animals in the windows as neighbors drive/walk around to check them out.
- Do A Window Egg Hunt: Color/Decorate Eggs for your windows. Same concept as the zoo.
- Hearts for Healthcare Workers: Place a heart on your door to let healthcare workers in the neighborhood know you are thinking of them.
- Offer to help at risk neighbors: Ask on the neighborhood Facebook group if you can grab anything for anyone before doing your essential errands to help the vulnerable stay home.
Do A Drive By.
- Drive by a Friend’s House for a wave: My kids especially have been missing their friends so we have done a few drive by/say hi dates.
- Birthday Drive By: Many kids have had to cancel parties and don’t quite understand. Organize a drive by with signs and honking to make the birthday boy/girl feel loved.
- Check in with Family: Especially for at risk family members a socially distant wave or chat may be a way to connect while keeping each other safe. Just make sure to follow current guidelines on distance.
Stay Involved in Your Old Activities, Just Differently
- Church on Sundays kind of family? Do it online.
- Work out queen? Stream some HIIT classes and challenge a friend to do it with you.
- Moms group your jam? Move it to the inter webs.
- Politically Active? Join an online activist group to lobby for your cause.
- Want to help the needy? Well there is PLENTY of need right now.
Studies show that gratitude makes you a happier person. I for one know that my gratitude meter, hasn’t exactly been hitting FULL as of late. Didn’t exactly prepare for a global pandemic. I have to remind myself of all that I have. There are many families suffering greatly right now. It may feel like it’s pretty impossible to do much to help in these trying times but:
“We cannot all do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”Mother Theresa
- Donate any funds you may have to reputable charities.
- Many of us are taking this time to sort through our homes and may have some extra items that others could use. Donating those items could be very helpful.
- Do not stockpile to excess. Many people cannot afford to do that. Leaving shelves bare to have 30 months worth of toilet paper will not help you fight Coronavirus.
- Support legislation that aids those most vulnerable.
- If you must cancel appointments, try to do so with ample notice and pay what you can.
- Purchase gift cards to local businesses as birthday gifts during this time.
- Check on the mental health of those in your circle. Don’t assume everyone is ok. Really, none of us are. This is a trying time for everyone.
- Call those you love. Call those who are a challenge. Just call.
- Imagine for a minute what it must feel like to be called “non-essential” when that dictates your livelihood. Check on those people.
- Drop off anything extra you may have to those who don’t have it.
- Wave to a stranger.
- Wash your hands.
- If you are sick, stay home. If you aren’t sick, assume you are sick and still stay home.