There’s no denying it… a pandemic can take a toll on physical relationships and mental health. So during a time where tensions are high and physical contact is low, we need to do our best to adapt and make the most of our current situation.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps from this whole quarantine business, keep reading. We’re here to help you find ways to stay connected with your loved ones, all while finding new joys.
Pick Up the Phone
What’s one benefit of a modern-day quarantine? Technology at your fingertips. And thank goodness for it! It’s one way to keep us connected to loved ones—germ free! Schedule a weekly phone call with Grandma. Do a daily text check-in with your siblings. FaceTime your BFF. Use technology to your advantage! It’ll help you feel like you’re not missing out on everyday moments with your family and friends.
You can even get creative with it! Plan a dinner date or cocktail hour with your friends or family. Pick the menu and have everyone do their own grocery shopping/cooking. Virtually share a meal (and some laughs). Think of the things you used to do before this pandemic and simply get creative. Find an alternative workaround and make it fun!
Learn Something New
Have you always wanted to learn guitar? Or fine-tune your yoga poses? Then do it! A whole new world of virtual, live-streamed classes has become available as a result of the pandemic. Online classes can simulate real-world interactions, which can make you feel more connected to the outside world… all while forming new friendships. And who knows, some of your virtual friends may even become your in-person friends. (You know, when we can all hang out again.)
Do a quick Google search for “online [fill in the blank with a hobby] classes.” You can scroll through pages of options to find the right course for you. You can even see if one of your friends would like to join the online class with you.
What’s more, social media networks like Facebook have tons of groups you can join where you can meet people with similar interests. So instead of mindlessly scrolling through your news feed, have a lively discussion about something you’re passionate about.
Find Ways to Lend a Helping Hand
Studies show that volunteering can help reduce your blood pressure; lower rates of depression, anxiety, and anger; and generally lower mortality rates. Though the world looks different right now, people haven’t stopped needing help. In fact, some need you now more than ever. So find a way to use your skills to help others. It doesn’t just benefit them; it also benefits you.
Even if it’s not directly getting involved with a charity or group, you can still find ways to help. Check in on your neighbors and elderly friends. If you’re running to the grocery store, see if they need anything. If you cooked too much food, drop off your extras. Simply brighten someone’s day with a sweet note on their door and a special surprise plate of cookies. Lifting spirits is the best form of volunteering there is.
Just Be Present
This has been hard. There’s no doubt about it. But do your best to rise above it. Don’t use this as an excuse to isolate yourself from family and friends. Use it as ammunition to do all the things you’ve wanted to do but just haven’t had time for.
Making a to-do list and checking things off it is a great place to start. Everyday, wake up with intentions to complete your to-do list. Read that book that has started forming dust on the cover. Paint that piece of art you’ve been envisioning in your mind. Create a blog and write about your life. Online tutor a child who is struggling with math.
Whatever you do, don’t sit idly by. The world may be different right now, but it hasn’t stopped moving. It may seem hard to see the light, but things WILL get better and we will make it to the other side together.
If you are experiencing abnormal thoughts or feelings of depression, please reach out to someone for help. And if you are noticing abnormal behaviors from a loved one, check in on them to make sure they’re in a healthy state of mind. Below are some resources for seeking help.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1.800.985.5990
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK (8255); or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233; or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1.800.4AChild (1.800.422.4453); or text 1.800.422.4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673); or Online Chat
- The Eldercare Locator: 1.800.677.1116
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1.800.273.TALK (8255), press 1; or text: 8388255
- Read more about coping with the stress of the pandemic here.