By Erin O’Brien, Office Manager, Cast Centers
We are social beings, and we thrive on relationships, but building and maintaining that community can be tough, even when the world isn’t in a crisis state. So how can we maintain those essential relationships while also keeping a 6 foot distance from everyone?
Don’t Text, Call
The best thing we can do to stay connected with others is to take full advantage of the devices we already use on a daily basis. Rather than defaulting to texting, call your friends and loved ones. If you want to schedule a dinner with someone, schedule a FaceTime dinner instead. Watch movies through FaceTime or Netflix Party so you don’t feel so isolated from the world. Staying in touch with our loved ones digitally and continuing to be able to see their faces and engage in activities with them will help us feel connected even in quarantine.
Handwritten letters have become a thing of the past, but this is a great opportunity to bring them back to life. It’s so simple to fire off a quick text or an email that we often don’t put as much thought into the words that we’re saying. Writing by hand makes us really think about what we’re writing and who we want to use this energy to write to, and it adds a more personal touch for the recipient so they feel truly cared for in this trying time.
Join An Online Support Group
Our mental health can take a hit when we’re spending a lot of time alone, and it can be helpful to meet with people digitally and talk through what we’re experiencing. Many AA meetings and similar community recovery groups have gone digital during this time. Participating in a support group can do wonders to help us connect with others dealing with similar situations and to remind us that we’re not alone.
Join A Digital Club
Since many people have more free time right now, it’s a great opportunity to join – or even start – an online club that appeals to our interests. Book clubs, cooking clubs, writing clubs, knitting clubs, and more can all be run virtually, and it’s a great way to continue to share our passions with other like-minded people.
Participate in Virtual Yoga
Many yoga studios are transitioning to virtual classes during this time. Yoga is a great way to practice grounding, finding balance, and staying present in a time when everyone is wondering what will happen next. It also keeps us moving our bodies when we’re stuck at home, and joining virtual classes keeps that sense of community alive.
Share Gratitude Lists with Loved Ones
A gratitude list is a simple, yet powerful tool in reminding us that we always have things to be grateful for. During this period where fear is widespread and information is constant, it’s as important as ever to remind ourselves that there are still good things in the world and in our lives. It can be especially powerful to share those gratitudes with the ones we love, because saying words out loud to another person often makes them feel more real. It can also create a chain effect of finding light amidst the chaos.
Watch Live Concerts
Many musicians have taken to social media to perform live concerts for their fans. Music connects us in a way that can’t be articulated, and watching our favorite artist perform while thousands of others watch with us can be an incredibly healing experience, even if it’s all online.
Talk to a Professional
Therapy can be beneficial for everyone, and particularly so at a time when there is a global crisis. Being able to talk to a licensed professional about our fears and having them listen to us fully and help us navigate them is an invaluable resource that can help us feel understood and as though we’re not alone. Many therapists are now providing telehealth options for their clients, so this is the time to utilize that resource.
These are just a few ways to maintain a sense of community while continuing to abide by the CDC recommendations. Relationships are crucial to our health, so just like we need to keep our distance from others to preserve the physical wellbeing of ourselves and others, it is equally essential that we seek out different ways to find closeness with the people in our lives. Our mental health is counting on it.