I truly never expected to write a blog about this specific topic, but here we are, 6 months into social isolation, and this is a very real problem. So how do you build social support when you aren’t able to socialize or meet publicly? Furthermore, masks make talking and interacting extra challenging. What can we do to ensure that we don’t remain isolated?
Here is a list of a few things that I have found to be beneficial:
1. Go for a walk or bike ride
Being outside is great for the soul, and exercise is always beneficial to your mental health. It gives you an opportunity to get some fresh air, connect with the world, and remind you of a time when things were just a little more normal. Even if you don’t typically walk, take a short stroll and see how you feel.
2. Make a phone call
Everyone owns a phone, but most of us rarely use them to actually make a call to someone. We are more likely to text, Snap, or Facetime before giving someone a call, but I’ve found phone calls to be the best. The problem with video chatting is that you have to be staring at a screen the whole time, and there is nothing more frustrating than watching the “poor connection” notification show up on the screen. What I have found is that giving a person a call while you do your laundry, while on a drive, or even while sitting on the couch can be so relaxing, and so fulfilling. Give it a try and you may find it to be your go-to mode of communication.
I truly believe the best thing for your mental health is to build social support by gathering with others. It can be gathering together as a family and intentionally doing things as a whole, or it could mean gathering with a couple healthy friends and having a fire. Even if you work in a job that regularly keeps you exposed, just gather six-feet apart, but I promise you your soul will thank you.
4. Send letters and packages
A great way to say “hey I am thinking of you and want to send some love” is through the mail. You could send a little greeting card to encourage one another or send a little box of your loved ones favorite goodies. It is so exciting to receive something in the mail, so why not give that excitement to someone else? Maybe you’ll even receive something in return.
Maybe you are already doing some of these things, which is great, but if you haven’t tried one yet, give it a go and see how much your mental health improves when you engage in these practices regularly. We would love to hear which of these you’ve tried, so comment and let know your thoughts or if you have tried something that I haven’t included!