Staying Socially Connected

During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives becomes the highest priority, followed by limiting economic harm. People’s emotional well-being is seldom treated as a matter of utmost public concern. Yet relationships with other people are the foundation on which humans build healthy, fulfilling lives, so we must safeguard them as the threat of a social recession looms even larger. Below are some ways to stay connected:

  • Find a pen pal! Go back to the basics and write a letter to a friend or family member. Writing is a good exercise to express how you are feeling about your current situation.
  • Schedule a virtual “hangout” with friends or loved ones using an online video system such as FaceTime or Google Hangout or Zoom.
  • If you would normally have a lunch date with a friend once a week, continue to schedule this by video.
  • Call a neighbor or friend to check-in on how they are doing.
  • If you are healthy, offer to run an errand for an elderly neighbor. Helping others can help us feel connected and gives us a sense of purpose during this difficult time.
  • Go for a walk and greet others from a safe distance.
  • If you are home with a family member, play a board game or activity that requires everyone to put their screens aside.
  • Practice being comfortable with your own thoughts. Use 15 minutes a day to reflect on the positives in your life and use “I am grateful for____” statements.
  • Go for a drive with a family member to a place you have never been.
  • Complete an outdoor chore as a family or take turns doing yard work with a friend at each other’s house.
  • Go fishing with a friend and enjoy time together at a safe distance.
  • Enjoy a five senses scavenger hunt in nature or in your house with family or a friend.
  • Begin a virtual book club.
  • Revisit favorite childhood games such as hopscotch, jumping rope and building forts.
  • Create chalk sidewalk art or write positive messages for passersby to enjoy.