We thought it would only last a month or two. However, many of us have lost count how long we have been in a lockdown. We wonder when this pandemic will be over and when we will be able to see our friends and loved ones again.
Although many people are worrying about their physical health due to the risks of this pandemic, many are starting to feel the effects on their mental health. Isolation in long terms is not good for anyone. We are social creatures. We thrive on connections and interactions. This goes beyond whether or not we are introverts, extroverts, or ambiverts. We all have a desire to feel connected to others. And due to the lockdown, many of us are away from our close connections.
However, there are safe things we can do to get our desire for connection. Many have turned to virtual meet-ups to be able to talk to friends. This has become popular due to how easier it is to talk to someone than it is to text them. We are able to chat with not just one person but various. Many have started game nights or even movie nights. Support groups have moved from being in an office or church room to being on Zoom. People are even able to hold mental health events that go beyond just their local community.
If possible, try one of these online methods. It can be annoying to have to ensure everything is in order and the occasional issues can be an issue, but it is important to try for our mental health.
Next thing, we can do is write letters to our friends. This might sound old fashioned, but receiving a letter from a friend is heart warming. The time and effort it takes to write ones feelings down on a card has positive effect on anyone. Try to make a list of people whom you would want to write a card for. Try to make it a habit where on occasion you mail each other cards. This not only supports your friends, but also your local post office!
And lastly, make time for yourself. Try a new hobby or read that book you’ve had on your shelf for a while. Try to find new ways to recharge your mental battery. It is important to broaden our view on what helps us mentally.
If I have missed anything you do to connect with others, please write it in the comment below. I would love to see what you do to maintain connections.