5 Ways to Stay Connected During the Pandemic

Today, everyone on my team at work thought it was a different day of the week. I bet that many of you guys are also losing sense of what day it is. In this time of physical distancing, quarantine, and avoidance to remain healthy, nothing is as it once was, including being social.

If you’re quarantined alone, hopefully you enjoy the peace and quiet. If you’re with spouses, kids, and other family members, hopefully you haven’t snapped yet. But there are small reprieves you can create for yourself—spending time with other people.

In this modern age of technology, there are plenty of ways you can connect with the outside world from the comfort of your own home.

Work Out Together, Apart

Getting any kind of exercise in at this point, even if it’s a walk around the block or some quick stretching, should be seen as a win right now. For those of you who have a little more will power or may enjoy exercising, there are a lot of ways for you to find a sense of community right now.

Studios and gyms across the countries have adapted, providing some free, some paid, classes on their social media accounts. Your favorite yoga or weightlifting class might be jumping on Instagram Live to provide a quick break in your day. Personal trainers are also getting in on the action.

Friends, too. Platforms like Zoom and Skype are creating spaces for people to connect remotely, even for workouts. If you’re quarantined with roommates or family members, get outside for a walk or bike ride.

Game Nights Online

My husband is currently missing his weekly trivia night that used to take place in a brewery with some of his closest friends. Luckily, we can still connect with them—just last week we played Scattergories via Skype.

Online gaming isn’t by any means a new concept, although now more people than ever might be syncing up to play. Nintendo Switch offers a lot of family friendly options to play games with people near and far. Those who are willing to put in a little more effort can even make boardgames work virtually: both groups just need to have the board and an internet connection for Zoom or Skype.

Telehealth Options

Connecting with your doctor or therapist right now may seem like a stretch, until you start not feeling well or need a prescription refilled and don’t want to go into the office. Many doctors offices and insurance plans already offered this service, although right now it’s even more crucial. Get in touch with your doctor or your insurance to see if this is an option for you.

American Addiction Centers, the owner of Recovery First, recently created telehealth options for a handful of its facilities and plans to roll the service out to more in the coming days. This will allow for some outpatient services, and therapy—both one on one and group—to be provided and attended in a virtual setting.

We’ve also launched virtual 12-step meetings, for those who are in recovery and need a little boost at this time.

Start or Join a Club

A coworker of mine is hosting a weekly book club online for her and her friends to stay connected while they can’t get together. AFI (American Film Institute) just started a movie club that encourages people to watch and discuss a movie of the week on Twitter. Even an extension called Netflix Party allows you to watch TV shows and movies in sync with your friends.

But there’s no limit to the type of club or group you can create or join. Get creative, the sky is the limit.

Schedule Some Time for Yourself

This seems counterintuitive, I know. But it’s going to be hard to have enjoyable and meaningful conversations and experiences with your friends and loved ones if you aren’t feeling great. It’s a stressful, confusing time, and a lot of us are stressed and experiencing things like anxiety and depression, maybe for the first time.

My go to’s when I need a few moments to myself are a bath, meditation, or yoga. Read a few chapters of a book away from the rest of the family. Get yourself a moment to breathe. It’s going to be difficult, especially if you have kids. But it will be that more meaningful and rewarding if you can work some time in for yourself. That way, you can be more present for yourself, and for others.

We’re going to have to get innovative to continue managing physical distancing. But there’s a reason the experts and politicians aren’t calling it social distancing anymore—it’s imperative you are social, just not in person.