Coping and Overcoming Isolation during Social/Physical Distancing
With social distancing in effect, one challenge many are facing is isolation. While everyone’s situation is unique, below are some considerations and strategies for managing the decrease in social connection:
- Enhance connection to others – virtually. Call, video call, even text or message via social media. Make efforts to keep in regular contact with those who are important to you. As appropriate, this might also be an opportunity to reach out to others you haven’t spoken with in a while or with whom you would like to connect.
- Know when you need some time just for yourself too. Take time to slow down, breathe, rest, and relax.
- Find creative ways to recreate the experience of being with somebody, such as watching a movie or show at the same time while keeping each other on the line. Rapid evolution of technology has provided many new ways to stay connected virtually so that we’re better prepared for the situation we now face.
- Arrange virtual get togethers for meals and hangouts instead of hanging out with co-workers after work or friends on weekends.
- Mutually share experiences, what’s working, what’s not working, and ideas. While this is a shared experience, each person will have their own unique circumstances. Talk about this with friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and others with whom you have connection.
- Safely reach out to check-in if there are others you think might need additional support (such as an elderly neighbor). Offering support to others can be mutually beneficial.
- Focus your attention on what you can do at home including hobbies, projects or other things for which you’ve been meaning to find time. Read books, learn something new, be creative.
- Consider going for a walk in a quiet space, maintaining social distancing and other essential health precautions, of course.
- Be intentional about news intake. While it’s good to stay informed and seek updates periodically, set boundaries such as not to feel inundated. Stay connected with Partners and entity updates for credible, up-to-date information.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation. Whether this is a set practice during the day or just moments here and there to stretch and take some calming, mindful breaths, this can be a quick way to relieve tension, stay present and grounded, and can be done anytime.
- Try to take things day-by-day. Do your best to ensure you have what you need now and for the coming days and weeks in an intentional and constructive manner, but also try to remain present and grounded in what we know now.
- Stay hopeful - remind yourself that this issue is getting the utmost attention 24/7 on all levels and new strategies to help are being developed and deployed regularly.
- Remind yourself that although it will be challenging, social distancing is an important, positive step you are taking that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the current situation.
- While this time may feel scary and isolating, remember that we’re all in this together!
The social distancing measures in place will bring unique challenges for each person personally, relationally and logistically. Partners employees and household member can talk confidentially with an EAP counselor by calling 866-724-4327.
This content was last modified on: 03/18/2020