From the Clinicians and Staff at Central Iowa Psychological Services
As therapists, we are continually reminding clients about the importance of social interaction and social support. Now that we are encouraged to practice social distancing, what does that mean for your mental health?
Social distancing is not social isolation. Social distancing means you are physically removing yourself from social situations (in this case to prevent the spread of COVID-19). Social isolation means you are completely removing yourself from all social situations. You can continue to be social while social distancing. Here are some ideas to keep you connected:
- Contact your social support system and try to arrange regular check-ins via telephone or internet.
- Stay connected with an online community. There are numerous Facebook communities to join depending on your interests.
- Try to go outside. Go for walks, sit on your porch or patio, or open your windows. Stay connected to nature.
- Watch movies with a friend or family member who is far away. You can be on the phone or video chat during it, you can text throughout it, or you can talk to each other about it afterwards. In fact, Netflix just came out with a Google Extension called Netflix Party that allows you to watch movies and TV shows together with friends and loved ones, virtually.
- Write letters or make cards for your loved ones. Write notes to tell them you are thinking about them or share favorite memories in your letters.
- Start that hobby you’ve been putting off. So you’ve been wanting to knit and have a scarf you started three years ago. Watch some YouTube tutorials and try to finish it. Or you’ve been wanting to learn the guitar or even write a book. Go for it! And feel free to document your efforts for others to follow along.
- So you missed the hype about Game of Thrones (or another popular show). Catch up now so you can finally discuss it with others.
- If you haven’t gotten into podcasts, now is a great time. You can listen to them while you walk, exercise, clean, or drive. There are usually fan sites for popular podcasts so you can discuss them with others.
- Find a therapist or keep up with your therapy appointments. Many therapists are utilizing telepsychology in order to keep appointments with clients. If you are not already in therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to let others know you are lonely. You aren’t the only one. Practice sharing and accepting kindness from others and yourself.