As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, governments are enforcing or recommending social distancing while global entities like the World Health Organisation (WHO) stress the importance of self-isolation. This social distancing may involve people working from home, rather than in their usual offices, schools or other locations; no longer going out to restaurants, theatres or cinemas; and avoiding busy shopping malls. All measures that are geared towards keeping a distance between people, so that the spread of the illness can be restricted.
But, for most people, these measures make for a significant change to their daily lives. Usually, a large part of our lives involves social interaction – and this has been cut short very suddenly and without any preparation for how to cope. The adjustment to a more isolated reality could be harder than expected for a great number of people. To help cope with this, we have put together a few ways that you can still achieve social closeness, despite the 21-day lockdown.
Here are 3 ways to combat loneliness during social distancing:
1. Keeping your mental health in check. It’s really important not to forget about your mental health during this extended period of isolation. So do what you need to remain in contact with others and to participate in some way in social activity – even if it’s done virtually.
2. Share special moments. In addition to people not being able to spend the day with their colleagues in the usual way, social isolation will impact significantly on important family events. Yet, technology may be a means of helping us to cope with these situations. With apps such as Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and Zoom, you can share special moments with your family virtually.
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3. Interact with others. Simply shouting or nodding a greeting to your neighbour also counts as being social: just that bit of human interaction, small as it may be, is better than none. And while we are in lockdown now, once it is lifted, we will still need to practice our distance, thus making this a good tip to keep for the next while.