Happy New Year, Psych2Go Fam!
Recently, socializing has looked a little different for many of us. As a result, social isolation and its harmful effects may seem inevitable. We want to remind you that there are still ways to cope with social isolation, and avoid feeling burdened to the harm it can cause us.
In this article, we want to give you some ideas of ways to stay socially connected, all from your own home! Social connection is vital to our health and happiness, and, though it may look different, you can still foster it meaningfully. With that, here are 5 ways to cope with social isolation.
1. Take advantage of video chattiing
With Zoom, Webex, Facetime, and even Discord, we’re living with an abundance of ways to video chat! One of the best ways to stay socially connected with others to take advantage of this.
Video chatting allows you to maintain face-to-face interactions, which are so good for your brain. Though you may not be able to see them in person, seeing your friends’ or loved ones’ faces can restore your energy and remind you that you are not alone. Of course, there is no perfect substitute for meeting in person. But there are so many resources available to help you participate in the next best thing.
2. Get creative with virtual activities
Does it feel exhausting to be staring at a screen all day? If it’s the last thing you want to do at this point, we don’t blame you. The good news is that there are so many ways to make video calls with friends more interesting!
Try having virtual painting parties, baking parties, spa nights, movie nights, or even game nights. The process of trying to turn in-person activities virtual can be exciting as well! It doesn’t all have to look the same, and now, you can experience the joy of being with your friends from anywhere in the world.
3. Lay low on social media
Yes, you read that right! The “social” in social media can be very deceptive.
According to an article from Harvard Health, using social media too much can fuel isolation and loneliness (Nobel 2018). It’s easy to get sucked into that world of highlights and superficial validation and compare that to your own life.
When you’re by yourself, a little social media can help you connect with others, but like most things, the key is moderation. If we spend too much time immersed in everyone else’s lives, we forget the great things about our own!
4. Make a conscious effort to check in with people
How often do you reach out to friends, just to say hi? When you spend so much time by yourself, or with a few people, it can be hard to remember to stay in contact with the people you don’t see every day.
Even a simple text can work wonders to feel less alone. Remember, too, that communication is a two-way street. So if you want to text more, try being the one to reach out–others will appreciate it!
5. Lean into your own interests
With virtual communication expanding, we have a better chance of connecting with people around the world. This is a great time to lean into the things that inspire you and try to find others who share your passion.
Whether it be writing, singing, reading, gaming, dancing, or anything else, a virtual world means that we have access to more opportunities from our own homes. We suggest using this time to capitalize on these interests to build relationships that wouldn’t have been this accessible in the past. With these connections, you’ll likely find yourself feeling less alone and isolated.
We hope this video reassured you that isolation and misery aren’t inevitable, even during these times. Could you relate? Did we miss anything? Let us know. Thanks for reading!
- Nobel, J (2018, Dec. 21). “Does social media make you lonely?”. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved from www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-a-steady-diet-of-social-media-unhealthy-2018122115600
- “Staying Connected While Practicing Social Distancing” (N.d). University of Maryland Medical System. Staying Connected. Retrieved from www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/daily-life-coping/staying-in/staying-connected