We are social creatures. So, it’s no surprise that quarantine fatigue has begun to set in. Humans are wired to come together physically. Finding ways to connect is essential to our well-being, since prolonged isolation can increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Social distancing recommendations will remain in place for months to come, and until there’s a vaccine, limits on big gatherings will likely continue. For the elderly or those who live alone, the isolation can be particularly grueling. But people are finding new ways to interact with each other, even under extraordinary circumstances. Here are some strategies to connect with others.
1. Connect Online
In todays society everything is online. However, instead of scrolling through social media, you could use the time to connect with people you don’t know. Don’t think of this activity as online dating, because it is no where near that topic. This is a chance for you to connect with others, whom are also feeling the same way as you during social distancing. Find a site that allows you to chat openly with strangers and find some type of common ground that you can chat about. You may even make a friend along the way. The best thing you can do while social distancing, is stay social. You don’t have to go out to parties or to a club to have a social interaction.
2. Movie Night
During social distancing you need to find ways to make yourself happy. Though it may sound difficult, it can be as easy as doing everyday activities. Plan a movie night to share with your friends or family that you haven’t seen since before social distancing started. Once that is done, you and your guest stay up as late as you want video chatting and watching your favorite movies. This is a fun way to keep in contact with those special people in your life, while having some fun.
3. Support Group
If you already suffer from a mental health disease, you should try joining an online support group. This way you have others in the same predicament as you to chat with. It will also allow you the opportunity to release the negative emotions you have bottled up inside you. Keeping quiet through social distancing is not helping your mental state improve. By joining an online support group, you have the opportunity to meet new people and talk to those who understand what it is like to have a mental illness. Take the advice you receive from the group members into advisement and use it to get through social distancing, instead of staying boxed up inside.
4. Music Is Medicine
Whatever genre of music you prefer, you should do this. I used to only listen to country music, but after doing this when I felt blue, ever genre has spoken to me. Take a break from listening to one specific genre and try listening to a blend of them. This will help you let your emotions out and more than likely tears will flow like rivers. However, that is something you need to do when feeling blue. More often than not all you need is a good ugly cry, and then you are back in a mood of calmness. Take the time to be alone with music blasting so no one can hear you and let it all out into the open. Curse the world or god, until you are able to stop and smile genuinely. Social distancing is the best time to do this, because you if you don’t want people asking questions, there will be no one around to ask.
5. Learn Something New
Take this time during social distancing to learn something new: woodwork, sewing, a different language, how to play an instrument, paint, etc. Keep your mind busy when you have nothing to do but sit alone in your thoughts. There are many ways to learn these things online and some are even free. I am currently learning a new language. Though it is hard to do, it still keeps my mind occupied, so I am not thinking about the down sides of social distancing. Keeping your mind and hands busy has you entirely focused on the project at hand, that you have no time to think about how blue you were feeling five minutes ago.
6. Color Pretty Pictures
When and if you go out to get your essentials, stop in the office supply section. You can usually find them in any supermarket or dollar store. Grab a few coloring books and not just the adult ones. Pick out about six coloring books as well as coloring pencils, markers, and crayons. Go back home and fill those books with beautiful colors. Distract your mind from the negative emotions of loneliness running around up there. Once you have finished your coloring books you have multiple pictures you could display and know that when you were going through a hard time, a little piece of paper helped you stay sane during social distancing.
7. Read A Book
Reading is one of my all-time favorite pass times, because it transports me into another world. When you are reading a book and become absorbed into the story, you can feel yourself there with the characters. It starts to take your mind off of the negative affects social distancing has had on you. While reading you become aware of the characters emotions and they become your emotions. You are happy with them, mad, sad, enraged, etc. No matter what the character you are reading about feels, you feel. You are basically on a emotional rollercoaster but it is one you can get off whenever you want. Then again when you become obsessed with a book, you don’t want to put it down. Thus, keeping you occupied through social distancing.
What have you done to keep from feeling blue during this time of social distancing? Have you or would you try any of these methods to help you cope with social distancing?
I am a student majoring in Creative writing.