Social Distancing Fatigue: Tips on Powering Through and Staying Healthy
Humans are wired to be together physically; we are social creatures. But most people around the world have been practicing isolation for the past two months in the wake of COVID-19. Loneliness has already become an issue in our modern life, and the new social distancing measures have intensified the problem. At this point, most of us are feeling worn out from disconnection and are experiencing social distancing fatigue.
While some states are beginning to relax restrictions and social distancing measures like stay-at-home orders, projections suggest that social distancing could continue until 2022. Until there is a vaccine, it’s likely that there will still be limits on large gatherings. This could be grueling on our already quarantine-fatigued state of mental health.
The good news is people are finding new, inventive ways to come together under these extraordinary circumstances. If you are feeling exhausted from the social distance, here are some ways to connect with people beyond the Zoom call.
Online Connection with Real-Time Activities
Social media can be a double-edged sword when it comes to our emotional health. Just scrolling through Instagram or Facebook isn’t always the best way to connect with people in a meaningful way.
So, stop cultivating FOMO (fear of missing out), use the power of these platforms to connect intentionally. Ask yourself what matters to you? Is there a hobby you’d like to startup? There is a world of live-streamed, online classes from languages and ceramics, to bread-making. Find something that brings more meaning to your life.
Small Acts of Kindness to Foster Friendships
A small gesture is sometimes all you need to help you reconnect. Even though we aren’t baking together, what about bringing a batch of baked goods to a friend? Organize a game or puzzle swap. Ask the neighbors if you can help by picking up some groceries for them.
It’s easy to feel depleted in these strange times and feel like you don’t have anything to give. But simple acts of kindness towards others can bring joy to someone and help lift you up as well!
Find creative ways to work together with friends and family. Maybe work through a cookbook together, watch the same movies, or read the same books and chat about them. Make some touchpoints throughout the day. Just sharing and laughing at a funny joke through a text can make you feel less alone.
Express Yourself with Art and Share
If you are the creative type and are looking to connect with others who make art, check out the UnLonely Project. They have built a community through their Stuck At Home Together initiative. You can watch films and take part in online conversations. You can look at other’s art and share your own. And they even have creative challenges to help get you motivated!
Communities are struggling to keep up with shrinking budgets, and many volunteer opportunities are arising that don’t require contact. VolunteerMatch is a database that you can use to search for virtual volunteering gigs. Everything from tutoring children to making face masks!
Like the idea of becoming a citizen scholar? There are digital volunteer opportunities at The Smithsonian. Their citizen scholars program allows people to transcribe historical documents like diaries and papers. Check it out at the Smithsonian Transcription Center.
Or, you could take part in a program called Be My Eyes, the app that connects the people who are vision-impaired with virtual assistance volunteers.
At Incann, we want you to not only survive during these uncertain times but also thrive! Human connection is a form of self-care that we don’t want you to miss. So give a few of these ideas a try to help lift yourself out of social distancing fatigue.
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