We currently find ourselves in some very strange times where we are seeing measures being taken the likes of which we haven’t seen since World War 2. The importance of staying at home to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus, to protect the NHS from breaking and perhaps most importantly protect the elderly and vulnerable cannot be understated. The problem, though, is that this means we lose out on social contact and this can make it a very lonely and tough time. There are ways that this loneliness can be mitigated in this article, we will look at 5 ways to keep connected with family and friends during this difficult period.
More often than not, these days, we text each other or send e-mails but that lacks the personal touch. As old fashioned as it might be, phoning someone up and having a real conversation is worth its weight in gold. Talking is good for us as we get that personal sense from the person we are talking to even if we can’t see them. Inflections of voice and laughter make a difference and giving that person the sense that they are cared for and important cannot be underestimated, so pick up the phone and give someone you love a call.
FaceTime and Skype
If you want to go on step further and actually see the person you are talking to then FaceTime and Skype are a great option. Using either of these allows you to turn on your video function and see the other person. You can even walk around show the person things that you are talking about like the plants in your garden or the meal you have just cooked. Using any type of video call will really bring you closer together. When chatting, share how you are feeling, it’s one thing to put a brave face on the situation but do also share your worries and concerns, a problem shared is a problem halved and your family or friends will want to help, even if it is a virtual shoulder to lean on.
Join an online Community
Most communities have their own Facebook page which tend to be very social groups but there are also social groups on platforms like Reddit, Pinterest or Mumsnet where people with similar interests talk about anything and everything. Ok, the personal touch is missing, but you can reach out to an audience which is wider than your normal social group and talk about things that you are mutually interested in.
Did you know that there is a Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party? This allows people to simultaneously watch the same TV program on Netflix and also allows group chats so you can chat to others whilst watching the program to share your thoughts or some funny banter. Not the same as being in the same room but certainly a way to make you feel connected to those you love.
Set up WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger Groups
Quite often when we text or message people, it tends to be one-on-one. To help keep more of us feeling connected why not set up groups on Facebook messenger or WhatsApp? This way you can have a large group of family and friends all instant messaging each other at the same time. The simple fact that many of you are all involved at the same time will almost make it feel that you are together. Why not send voice notes to each other too so you can hear each other’s voices?Humans are social creatures and social distancing will seriously affect our ability to interact with our friends and family. In the long term this could lead to loneliness and depression. There are ways, however, of ensuring that we feel connected to each other and it is important that we each take the time each day to reach out to someone to reassure them that they are not alone and that you are there for them. Together we are stronger, alone we will struggle.