We are living through an unprecedented experience and with that comes a heavy dose of confusion, anxiety, and fear. Additionally, social distancing and sheltering at home can be increasingly difficult for others. As we navigate this new normal, here are some ways to practice healthy social distancing.
Create a Routine
Undoubtedly, our usual routines have been impacted by social distancing measures. For some, work arrangements have been thrown for a loop. While others may have to care for children and extended family as we shelter in place.
In these times of high stress and uncertainty, it is important to create and maintain a mild routine. While simple, mental health experts find that following a routine especially during turbulent events can help relieve anxiety and stress. This can include setting lunch and dinner times, or even setting time to accomplish small tasks like getting in a workout.
Limit Media Exposure
While it is important to stay up to date on the latest information regarding the outbreak, avoid listening or watching news programs related to COVID-19 all day. Studies show that news and media consumption can increase overall anxiety. Overbearing news cycles during a global pandemic can certainly bring unnecessary stress.
To reduce media consumption while staying updated with COVID-19 updates, follow your local public health leaders announcements, along with national and global sources like the CDC and WHO.
Practice Social Distancing While Getting Fresh Air
Despite social distancing and shelter in place has closed restaurants, public beaches and parks, it is important to make an effort to get some sun and fresh air. While following local, state, and federal guidelines, practice social distancing by going for a small walk or even sitting outside. This will give you a healthy break from staying inside your house for extended periods of time.
Remember to stay 6 feet apart from others who are also social distancing and be considerate about how to maintain your distance and wellness. Wearing a face mask, gloves, and practicing efficient hand washing and general hygiene can protect you from the virus.
Note: If you are feeling slightly ill, please stay indoors and distance yourself to follow quarantine guidelines.
Virtual Hangout with Others
While this is an unprecedented event, we are also living through a time with convenient technology. Reach out to your family and friends during this time to maintain a sense of normalcy. Whether it’s conducting a Zoom or Skype hangouts or just a simple text message, these efforts will help us remain connected with our loved ones as we social distance.
Popular virtual hangout ideas include:
- Morning coffee/breakfast hangout
- Happy Hour
- Movie watch party
- Book clubs
“We are Living Through a Pandemic Not a Productivity Competition”
Social distancing and the impact of COVID-19 has many different looks for different people. As long as you are following the rules and laws of your local and state jurisdictions, there is no wrong way to social distance.
It is important to understand that social distancing is for the good of society. While others may be more productive and have other activities lined up, it is okay to create your own shelter at home protocol. What works for others is not going to work for you, so it may take some fine tuning to really figure out what works.