Humans are social creatures by nature, and as many of us are isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staying connected to our friends and family is more important than ever. Here's why it's important to stay connected during the pandemic and how to do that while social distancing.
Why is it important to stay socially connected?
Just because we’re physically social distancing does not mean we have to completely isolate ourselves from others. Staying connected and keeping in touch with your friends and family prevents you from feeling lonely and isolated. Social interaction with others promotes well-being and improves your mental health.
How does social well-being affect your health?
Social isolation and loneliness are associated with depression, anxiety, and overall poorer mental health. On the other hand, companionship and social connection to others can boost general well-being, improve self-worth, as well as ease feelings of anxiety and depression. Forming and maintaining healthy relationships with others is one of the ways to cope through this challenging time.
Benefits of staying connected
Apart from improving your mental health, there are many other health benefits of staying connected. These include:
- Improved mood: Having a strong social support system gives you a sense of belonging and purpose, which helps boost your confidence and increases happiness.
- Longer lifespan: Social connections impact your physical health as well, and not just your mental health. Research has shown that those who have strong social connectedness live longer compared to those who do not.
- Better quality of life: Our relationships with the people around us shape our lives and experiences. Social connections have the ability to make a great impact on our life and fostering good relationships can change the course of your life for the better.
Ways to stay connected
Social connections aren’t just limited to physical interactions, there are many ways to stay connected to people without being physically present. If you’re unsure of what to do during social distancing, here are some tips on what you can do and how to stay connected while social distancing.
- Connect digitally: Many of us are no longer strangers to video calls due to this pandemic. The way we communicate has changed, and many of us now rely on technology to keep in touch with our family and friends. Instead of an old-fashioned catch-up, there are many ways to keep video calls fun! Organize some games with your friends, a virtual movie night, or even a dinner party.
- Attend virtual events: Online events such as concerts, classes, gym sessions, tours, and more are becoming the norm these days. If you’re feeling bored or looking to make some new friends, attending one of these virtual events is a great start.
- Embrace social media: While excessive use of social media can be bad, it’s also one of the easiest ways to stay connected to the people you know. Use social media to keep in touch with your friends and family, as well as reconnect with old friends. This way, you’re able to keep up with their lives and share what’s going on in yours too.
Keep yourself safe by familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or have come into contact with someone that tested positive, it’s important for you to get tested as soon as possible.
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