So, I wasn’t going to talk about this. This site is not about discussing current events; at least that is never the intention. But here we are, experiencing something as a global collective that needs to be discussed here in this space. It is the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, which has given rise to a thing called “social distancing.”
While there are many questions (and doubts by some) about the spread of the virus, one thing is for certain: although one of the best ways to contain its spread (through social distancing) can help our physical wellbeing, it’s not the best thing for our emotional wellbeing long term. After a while, we start to feel deprived of our natural human need to connect with others. We start to suffer from loneliness–especially if we already live alone.
I admit, social distancing is something I’ve struggled with–especially since I do live alone.
So, here is a list of some of the lessons and reflections I’ve had throughout this process:
Seven Lessons & Reflections on Social Distancing
1. You’re not alone, being alone: Whenever you feel lonely, remember that it’s not just you. There are millions of people around the world in the same boat.
2. Social distancing doesn’t have to be emotional distancing: While you may not be hanging out with your friends every weekend or seeing your relatives as often as you’d like, find other ways to connect without being physically present.
3. You can and should still get some vitamin D: When was the last time you stepped outside and saw the sun? Sunlight is very critical to our mental wellbeing. So, find ways to get some while enjoying a little bit of nature. Perhaps sit out on your porch or back deck or go for a walk around the block, while keeping social distancing in check of course.
4. Don’t overwork yourself: If you’re like me working from home now, it’s harder to separate your work life from your home life. It’s so easy for things to blur into one; and before you know it, you spend a lot more time working (from home) than you did before, when you physically went to work. These extra long work days from home can be kinda depressing after a while.
5. Create a routine: For some, having some kind of structure to the day brings a sense of order in the midst of chaos, confusion, and uncertainty. If you’re in this category, consider how you might plan out your day differently while still making plans for things you can look forward to.
6. There will most likely be a change of plans: For some of us, things we had scheduled well in advance had to be cancelled…Trips, meetings, reunions, concerts, graduations–the list goes on. We were looking forward to them. Accepting that plans must change will keep us from being upset about their cancellation or rescheduling and more at peace.
7. Use time for self growth and development: Perhaps being in confinement has now given you time you never knew you had for self growth and development. This could be the opportunity to read those books gathering dust on your bookshelf that you haven’t come around to; or maybe learn a new language, take an online course, or practice mindful meditation.