Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Isolation

Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Isolation

The COVID-19 crisis has completely changed our lifestyles, impacting both our physical and mental health. It has forced many of us to work from home, homeschool our children, postpone our travel plans, wash our hands more than we want, wear masks, and this is just the top of the list! Before COVID-19 affected our lives, most people didn’t even know the meaning of social distancing. But, to stop the spread of the disease, social distancing is the best tool in our arsenal. As COVID-19 spreads from person to person, we stop its spread by creating physical distance between ourselves.

Social isolation has been a huge challenge concerning mental health experts. The reason is simple-social isolation is the root cause of many mental health problems which can also manifest as “physical” ailments. However, thanks to technology, social distancing does not mean cutting ourselves off from the world. There are a lot of ways to stay connected to our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. Here are a few ways you can stay connected and feel less lonely as you practice social distancing.

Make a Call:


Pick up the telephone and get connected with your grandkids, family members, and friends. You can talk to a cousin you haven’t spoken to in years, get reconnected with a childhood friend and simply make someone’s day along with yours!

Join Live Workout Classes:


Since the pandemic struck, many gyms, fitness studios and workout classes have moved online and started live streaming. When you join live workouts with a group, you will feel that you are part of a community, working towards a similar goal, and having fun at the same time. There are many services from gyms to workout equipment companies like Peloton filling this need.

Videocall:


Thanks to technology, you can video-call any of your friends or relatives you’ve been missing. You can have a group chat with your friends, or even watch some movies together. Isolation can lead to loneliness, which can cause physical ailments, and depression among other issues.

Host a Book Club:


No activity is as beneficial as book reading. So, start reading books and discuss it with a group of people who have read the book too. No reason to get a hardcopy when you can get most books instantly on your devices through a host of services by Apple, Amazon, etc. The social interaction that book clubs create is a great way to feel less isolated and more accomplished.

Interact with your Neighbors:


Pull up a chair in your front yard and interact with your neighbors. You can work in your yard, wash your car, and talk to them at the same time. Human interaction keeps you refreshed and improves your mental health. Just make sure that you are maintaining the proper social distance!

The Takeaway:


Your mental health is strongly affected by isolation so don’t let COVID isolate you due to social distancing. Instead, find ways to communicate with your loved ones, your neighbors, and your colleagues virtually with planned activities, and impromptu calls.
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Dr. Jawad is a practicing physician with extensive administrative experience, who has firsthand knowledge of running a medical practice and working in employed models. WoW Health aligns incentives for the healthcare ecosystem so all stakeholders benefit from transparent and direct relationship between patients and medical service providers.