23 Apr Why Keeping Connected in a Disconnected World is Vital
The new world thrust upon is miles away from the norm. No longer can we enjoy family barbecues, after work drinks and school play dates. Our social world has been locked behind closed doors and told to keep 1.5 metres apart.
For some, this can be just as dangerous as the virus we all want to avoid.
As human beings we like to have control over our environment and most of all, we need to feel connected and social. For many people this will be a tough, but necessary period of social isolation.
Many of us will miss seeing family and friends and taking part in our usual hobbies, interests and activities.
It shows how important friendship and connection are in our lives, and how difficult it can be when they’re missing.
Keep connected can help manage anxiety and stress
When we are forced indoors, the likelihood of developing feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression might start to get the best of us. If it happens to you, know that it’s normal especially under chaotic circumstances.
This is a time of fear so it’s even more important to keep in touch with loved ones during these uncertain times. No one should struggle alone during this time, and talking can help combat loneliness.
One key point to realise is that having a “quick chat” with someone is so much more. It offers others the chance to feel that they have support, or at least understand that support is there is it’s needed.
An interested article in The Atlantic, interviews Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University. She suggested that offering support can be beneficial to both those giving as well as receiving.
Support can come in many forms according to Holt-Lunstad.
“It might be ‘tangible’—an offer to drop off some extra food at a friend’s house if needed. It might be ‘informational’—a response to a concerned friend’s advice-seeking about how to handle some aspect of life during a pandemic. Or it might be ‘emotional’—a check-in to see how a friend is weathering it all. Even just perceiving that support is available, if needed, can be enough to dampen stress responses.”
What are some interesting ways to keep connected?
- Read a book to a grandchild or family friend over the phone or via video chat.
- Share memories (and do some spring cleaning at the same time!). Take out that box of photos that you’ve been meaning to sort through. Then, get in touch via e-mail or phone with the people in the photographs and reminisce about your shared experiences.
- Exercise online. Choose from one of the thousands of fitness routines available on YouTube and work out together, but in separate locations, with your exercise buddy.
- Host a virtual group catch up. If you can’t meet your friends in person for coffee or lunch, move the gathering online via a group video chat.
- Teach others your skills. If you’ve been waiting to show the world your special talents, now’s your chance. Use your phone to create short teaching videos and post these online.
Different Technology Options To Consider
Video chatting between six people is available, and although you can voice chat with 50 people, video chatting with more means only the dominant speaker’s camera will be showing. If you’re simply looking to message as a group, this is easy to do as well. The best part about all of this – it’s free as long as you have an account and are connected to WiFi or Data.
If you don’t have a Netflix account but still want to be able to spend time with your friends watching videos online, Watch2Gether is what you need. Rather than watching videos from one source, you can watch content from multiple, such as YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. It’s as easy as creating a free account and nickname. You can then start adding friends to rooms that you have created and watch the videos.
This is another great video chatting App for Android, iPhone and iPad users that has grown in popularity lately. It lets you to stay in touch, face to face, with the people you care about. Allowing up to eight people to join in on the video, the app alerts you when friends are “in the house” and can join in on a video, so you can jump straight into a conversation with them. You can even message each other and play games within the app while videoing.
No matter how you choose to be connected to those you love, the important message is – stay connected.
It’s also not unusual to actually be managing better or even thriving during this time of the “Coronaverse”. It’s okay to be grateful to find the relief during the pandemic. You are not being morbid, or ridiculous or any other such thing that may be told or thought. For those of us who experience mental health issues, staying at home from school or work means more energy reserved. We save so much energy because we aren’t physically, mentally, or emotionally drained from being “on” the whole day before going home to charge up again.
It means less people around to be alert of, less sounds and other stimulus that we may get caught in, less obligations, less people, less of things that we find difficult. It is our time to charge up our batteries and have them maintained for a longer period of time. It is okay to be grateful for the pandemic. We can hold space for both.
“The pandemic is tragic and I find that I’m doing better than usual” is a completely valid sentence. “The pandemic is tragic and I’m not okay” is a completely valid sentence.
“The pandemic is tragic and COVID Calories is a real thing” is a completely valid sentence. Your experiences and emotions are yours. You are completely valid.
As always, Haven Psychology is here for both in-house and videoconferencing/Telehealth services. Please reach out and let us support you as needed.