How to be Social, During Social Distancing

Humans were created as social beings, we all need interaction with people to stay sane! While we know social isolation has a big impact on our well being, many folks have never experienced like this: where our isolation is compelled by forces beyond our control and is likely to continue for some time.

The good news is that even though we are physically isolated we can still be social. We are blessed to live in a time where technology has advanced enough to connect us in ways we never dreamed of as recently as 20 years ago. The opportunity in all this is to get better acquainted with these digital opportunities, embrace them in the spirit of fun, and do not be intimidated by technology. 

You are not too old to learn these new tricks, and ironically you may find yourself with more social connections to friends and family than ever before!

Here are some strategies that may help you stay social during these difficult times.  

1.Video Chat one-on-one with Friends, Family or your Therapist. 

Just talking on the phone does not always do the trick, seeing a person’s face while you talk to them will give you a much more intimate connection. Not only will the interaction feel more normal but also it can give you a sense that there is someone in the house with you. Speaking and seeing family and friends regularly is an important part of our wellbeing.

There are several common tools folks are using to see each other. A free ZOOM subscription is one of the easiest ways to go video. Just signup at zoom.com and schedule a meeting. It’s really that easy. For Facebook folks, live streaming has become popular and it has conferencing features that allow many people to be visible on the call.

2.Don’t Grow a Beard. Keep your Routines.

In these times try to stick to your routine. Psychologists stress that just because you are not visiting anyone or going to work, you shouldn’t forgo your daily shower, grooming, exercise, and dressing routines. If you attended yoga, cooking, or any extracurricular activity classes, try attending them online. Almost every class-based exercise program has an online version now, you can support your local businesses while still keeping fit. Arguably, keeping your mind and your immune system healthy is more important than ever right now, so getting out of bed and making yourself move is a discipline you really have to have. Experts advise that working out while in isolation will have a “tremendously positive effect” on your health and wellbeing. If your capacity to exercise is restricted due to a health condition or disability you should still aim to move more than usual.  

3.You Can Still “Go to Church”

You can also connect to a live stream church or religious service. Many churches and Synagogues are using ZOOM or Facebook Live to connect to the flock during COVID-19. Maintaining your spiritual connection to your faith and your community is one of the very best ways to get support, and keep your sanity during forced isolation. If you find that you struggle with the process of downloading and using technological platforms ask someone from your community to assist you. You can also arrange for calls from either a church leader or a community member for weekly check-ins and chats. 

Unfortunately, isolation and loneliness are going to be the common experience of many during this pandemic. It may sound like a cliché, but perhaps we can try and look at the cup half full. Ironically the pandemic is actually creating new communities and new opportunities for socialization. A sense that we are all in this together pervades the planet like never before, and as time passes we are coming together to find new ways to be social, and to help each other through this crisis. 

4. You can be safe, social, and still cared for in your home.

The pandemic may be active, but the needs of seniors who are choosing to stay at home have not changed. In-home care agencies like UMC Homeworks, are busier than ever providing aid, companionship, cleaning, and assistance to seniors who are isolated at this time. Our aides are health screened every day, stocked with protective equipment (PPE) and still visit our seniors in their homes all while maintaining social distancing and elevated hygiene protocols. 

In addition to daily home care, we are one of the few home health agencies that arrange for pastoral care that provides spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and home-care-safety in the time of COVID-19, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/