During this time, Social Distancing does not have to mean social isolation or avoidance. Several weeks of social isolation and inactivity could lead to depressed mood. Similarly, several weeks of increased social avoidance could create more anxiety than usual around eventually returning to your normal routine of your workplace, college classes, working out, and/or socializing.
Here are 12 ways to stay connected with others, entertained, and active during this unusual time to facilitate resilience and make meaning of your time at home:
1. Take a daily walk, with someone from your household or pet, if possible.
2. If you have access to a yard or balcony, spend time outside.
3. Sing along or dance to your favorite music.
4. Start a new tradition, like a family game night (in-person or virtual depending on your circumstances).
5. Go for a drive somewhere scenic.
6. Schedule weekly group video chats (e.g., via Google Hangouts or the House Party app) with your closest friends or family.
7. Take this time to reconnect with friends who live far away. Call someone you may only usually text.
8. Many exercise studios are now streaming virtual exercise classes (e.g., Exhale, Yoga with Adriene). You can even schedule with a friend to do these at the same time.
9. If you’re stuck in virtual (e.g., Zoom) meetings all day, find a way to make your coworkers laugh, like adding a virtual background.
10. Now more than ever, it’s important to schedule that lunch break. Take a break from your computer and take your time making yourself lunch. Sit somewhere away from your desk (e.g., your balcony) or schedule a virtual lunch break with friends or colleagues.
11. Take this time to do that one thing you have never had time for, whether it’s creating a website, organizing your closet, or learning another language.
12. Embrace the silence. Learn to enjoy quiet time. Note your reflections in a journal.
Overall, use this extra time at home as an opportunity to create new traditions in your household, get rid of old habits that no longer serve you, and promote physical activity.
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