We, as human beings, are social creatures. Even the most introverted person often has a few personal connections.
However, for all of us, the coronavirus has turned how we interact with people upside down. Now we are more isolated from one another.
These are unprecedented times, and the social impact of this pandemic has yet to be fully determined. If you are at home wondering what you can do to cope with this situation, know there is hope.
Consider these ideas for how to handle the social impact of coronavirus.
Avoid Downplaying the Situation
First, it’s vital to take a step back and acknowledge the reality of the present situation. Don’t downplay or try to minimize it. Avoid trying to pretend that it’s not happening.
Instead, it’s healthier to accept what’s happening, and that the present coronavirus crisis is creating a social impact. This mindset is helpful because it sets you up to make choices that allow you to have a positive effect on your social connections. Denial or downplaying creates more anxiety, which might lead to negative ways of coping.
The new mantra for everybody is to stay healthy! That includes both your physical health, and emotional well being too, such as:
- Maintaining a sleep schedule
- Eat healthy and avoid junk food
- Tap into your creativity; draw, play music, or take on a craft project
- Get outside, while also taking appropriate precautions (physical distancing, wearing a face mask, etc.).
One thing that can help you to maintain a positive mood and your physical health is exercise. Also, exercise is an excellent tool to combat anxiety. There are a lot of resources available online for exercising at home and with minimal equipment. Additionally, there are programs that you can do online via video or social media. That way, you can still connect with other people.
Increase Communication at Home
With stay-at-home orders, many people are finding that although their broader social interactions have been impacted, they have more time with their family. That can lead to problems unless there is communication. So, you might be talking less to friends, but increasing the level of communication with your partner and children is essential.
Some basic ideas include:
- Do a check-in with your partner in the morning and evening.
- Talk to your children daily.
- Do things together as a family, especially mealtimes.
Note there needs to be a balance between engaging with your family and allowing everyone to have their own space as well. Everyone needs a break from everyone else, even if they are those you love!
Tweak Your Approach to Working from Home
Before the current crisis, most of us worked at an office, business, or some other location outside of the home. Now, many workers are having to switch to working from home. When you consider that most of us spend the majority of our waking hours during the week at work, that is a substantial social impact.
You can’t pop over to the next office to chat with a colleague, or bounce ideas off the team in an impromptu meeting. Now, communication occurs online via chat rooms, video conferencing, email, etc.
However, you can still maintain those relationships even while at a distance. For example, at the start of a group meeting, take a moment for everyone to chat, share a celebration, or acknowledge the work of someone else.
Seek Anxiety Counseling for the Times
Now more than ever before, professional mental health services are needed during these difficult times. If you feel more on edge, or down and hopeless about the future, get help from a therapist. Therapists, like other professionals, are quickly adapting and moving to online platforms for secure video conferencing to hold sessions.
We are still adjusting to the social impact of the coronavirus. Know that, although your social connections have been disrupted, it doesn’t mean those relationships are gone. There are many things you can do to maintain those relationships, while also taking care of your mental health.
For support during these unprecedented times, please reach out to me or visit my page on anxiety counseling to learn more about how I can help.