While “social distancing,” “self-quarantine,” and “flattening the curve” have become all-too familiar terms in recent days, there’s another more positive term that we can implement into our current daily lives: social nearing.
Social nearing gives us the opportunity to still connect with each other in ways that are safe, enjoyable, and emotionally enriching.
Staying connected is especially important in times of crisis and uncertainty; we need to reach out to others on a regular basis to remind us that we’re in this together—and we will get through it, together. There is no doubt that our resiliency is strengthened in numbers.
For those dealing with mental health issues, isolation is one of the worst things to experience. (In prison, it is considered the most extreme form of punishment because we are wired to crave social interaction). So, we must be creative together in staying connected and at the same time, continue making self-care a priority.
Here are some suggestions for leaning in to social nearing:
- Make it a goal to reach out to 2 new people, every single day. These should not be people who are a part of your regular routine, but with whom you may have lost touch (old friends, former clients, high school classmates, etc.). You can of course call them, but communicating with them via Facebook, Skype, or Zoom, etc. is even better.
- Many people are enjoying the warmer weather now (and getting out of their houses) by walking alone or with their dogs, running, and biking. Even while keeping a safe 6-foot distance, you can make eye contact with strangers, wave and say hello, and ask them how they’re doing.
- Your dog won’t mind (and in fact, will probably love it!) if she/he gets more than one daily walk. Plus, it helps you avoid the 3:00 pm nap (if you’re an adult) and the possible temptation to have a 4:00 pm cocktail.
- Many local art venues such as the Dallas Opera and Avant Chamber Ballet are live streaming (or planning to live stream) performances, and some also offer Q&A sessions following the performance with writers, actors, etc. For more information on current performances, visit artandseek.org.
- A number of fitness and yoga studios are switching over to live streaming and in-demand classes for cardio workouts, yoga, and even meditation – many at no or low cost for the time being. Yes, you might be stuck at home for your workout, but it can be very comforting, exercising with a familiar face even if it’s online.
Insights understands the fear and concern surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to doing all we can to stay connected and keep you and your family mentally and emotionally healthy. We are offering Telehealth sessions for your safety and ours.
We realize that many of you now have at home (and in close proximity) children, spouses, partners, etc. If you’d like to schedule a Telehealth session but are concerned because you don’t have a private location from which to do so, we are happy to help you come up with creative ways to connect with us—perhaps from the privacy of your car, garage, and even while taking a walk.
We’re here for you. And we will get through this. Together, we can do hard things.