1. Start a Connection Routine
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If there’s one thing that’s been interrupted in the last two weeks, it’s our routines. For many of us, most of the things we do—school, sports, shopping, or eating out—involve other people and are therefore on hold indefinitely.
That means we need to be more purposeful about scheduling time to connect with others in whatever ways we can.
Whether you have a larger friend group or just one or two close relationships, arrange to talk regularly and frequently. Also, consider using something like Skype or Facetime so you can see each other; phone calls are great, but being able to view facial expressions and even an environment different from your own will help you feel less confined and more connected.
Set a time that works for both of you (first thing in the morning, during a lunch break, or maybe after work) and commit to it. Not only will it give you something to look forward to, it will also tether you to another person which is crucial if, like me, you tend to get lost in busywork and “turtle” when anxious.
2. Join Your Neighborhood App
Many people (my fiancé and I included) are using apps like Nextdoor to connect with their local communities, which is a great thing to do even when there isn’t a pandemic.
Linking arms with your neighbors (figuratively of course) in a crisis makes you aware of their needs, both physical and mental, and gives you a place to ask for help or encouragement if you’re struggling.
It is also incredibly uplifting to look away from the grim news reports for a few seconds and see people extending offers of groceries, virtual tutoring for kids, and even that precious commodity, toilet paper.
Who knows, you might form new relationships that outlast COVID-19.
And once the danger has passed and we’re all picking up where we left off, you’ll be in a better position to check on your neighbors, in person this time, and offer support.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Alexander Dummer