BY REBECCA COOPER
Humans, especially women, crave social interaction, but a coronavirus quarantine isn’t the best way to cultivate friendships ….or is it? During a time of social distancing and hunkering down at home, you don’t have to let your relationships go by the wayside. But how do you stay close to your besties during this time? I’m so glad you asked!
There’s a big difference between distancing yourself physically and social isolation. We all need each other to help with our stress levels and to just talk things out right now. To stay healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally there are a few things to focus on during the weeks to come.
Connection with Others Makes the Difference
Just because you are staying at home, or at least distancing yourself from others, doesn’t mean you cut off all contact. We are fortunate to live in a time with technology that gives us options from calling, to texting, to face timing, and multiple options in between. Use those options just to check in and see how your loved ones and friends are doing. We all deal with this situation differently, and your contact may be what gets someone through the day.
Keep Up Your Daily Exercise Routine or… Start Exercising!
Personally, exercise is as much about maintaining my body as it is staying mentally healthy. The chemicals, endorphins released during exercise, cause our bodies to have fewer negative effects of stress. There truly is an ‘exercise high’ when you get your body moving. If working out alone is a downer for you and non-motivating, look online for workouts. Local gyms and trainers are on social media outlets daily; you just have to set the time aside to make it happen!
Be Extra Neighborly
The new rule of thumb is to keep six feet between you and another person, so why not gather at the bottom of your driveway with neighbors at that recommended distance? Everyone bring a beverage of their choice and just spend time talking about the situation and how each of you is dealing with all that is going on. Right now our neighborhoods look like ghost towns, but just a get-together can help you deal with the feeling of going through this alone.
Break Out the Monopoly or a 1,000 Piece Puzzle…What Else Do You Have to Do?
Most of us have those board games that with regular life and activities, never get played and are sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Remember that puzzle that Aunt Ethel gave you of the Eiffel Tower, that would be a great family project? Many are also turning to arts and crafts with their kids. Another idea is to actually have a conversation addressing any fears or concerns your kids may have about this time in our world. You and your family have precious time right now to connect like never before.
Hiking and walking are great activities as long as you keep a 6-foot distance from those around you. Local parks and neighborhoods are places you can get some fresh air and also some exercise. When the walls at home start closing in, there’s no better place to go than outside.
Fido Gets Bored, Too!
Our dogs like to be where we are and many are getting spoiled having us at home every day. Fido is content doing whatever you do, so if you want some fresh air and a change of scenery, take your pup for a walk; it’s good for you and your dog.
Netflix and Binging Is ALWAYS a Good Thing
Choose a series or a movie that you and your friends have wanted to watch and set up a time, in your own homes, to watch and then comment through texts. When you can’t be at the theatre sharing a bucket of popcorn, binge-watching on Netflix is the next best thing. You can also set up a time to call or FaceTime and discuss the show. Any way you can connect during this time is a positive.
I recently read online, ‘If you’re not using this time to rest, reset, and prioritize your purpose and people in your life, you are wasting an opportunity you may never get again.’ We’re all stir crazy, that’s a given, but I also read recently, ‘In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.’ Repeat that a few times…