Tips to Connect and Find Joy While Social Distancing
Humans are social creatures, and this new season has been tough on many of us. Here are five ways you can foster joy and creativity from your home.
One NPR article explains that we are social creatures, so it’s natural that quarantine and social distancing has been very tough for us. Humans are wired to connect, to rely on one another, but loneliness has become a part of daily life—and social distancing has made that problem worse.
The good news is, with this new age of technology and online ordering and connectivity, there are ways to combat this difficult season and all its lonely feelings. Finding ways to connect and find joy are incredibly important for humans, for all generations and for mental health and stability. Scientists know that the pandemic has hurt many people’s mental health.
It is important to note that if you are feeling persistent sadness or anxiety that interferes with day-to-day life, consider seeing a therapist (which you can do online, too).
Here are NPR’s best tips for finding joy during this time.
1. Don’t scroll. Connect online with real-time activities.
Social media and online platforms can be blackholes, sucking us in for hours and harming our mental health—especially during this pandemic. Instead of scrolling through feeds, find ways to connect with others online with activities like virtual: trivia, cooking, workout-classes, games, music and more.
2. Making art is essential. Express yourself.
Connect with others, but also understand how to express yourself. Pick up something new: buy a paint set or break out your camera. Practice your sketching. Teach yourself guitar. Pick up scrapbooking. Whatever it is, art is crucial for a release of tension and anxiety. Here’s NPR’s guide to five art projects to try during social distancing.
3. Reach out to the elderly.
For many elderly people, social distancing has brought many challenges: the lack of contact with others, the inability to go places, and the general lack of technological savvy that most elderly people deal with. Reach out to older individuals to ask if you can help (from a safe distance) cook them a meal, do their grocery shopping or facetime them.
4. Find your way to volunteer virtually.
Believe it or not, volunteering does not have to be an in-person activity. There are many digital volunteer opportunities including online tutoring, transcribing historic documents, or helping the visually impaired.
5. Keep friendships alive with small acts of kindness.
Small gestures can go a long way, for you and others. Even though we can’t be together, brainstorm ways you can make someone’s day. Bake someone cookies, send them a hand-written letter or finish knitting that scarf for Grandma. Organize a puzzle or book swap with someone. Ask a neighbor if they need help grocery shopping.
This time has left many of us feeling hopeless and worried, but there is no better cure than a little act of kindness and compassion towards others. Acts of kindness bolster our own spirits and helps others, too.
While these five steps may seem minute, they can be critical for helping you connect and find joy during these unprecedented times. Try them out; you might surprise yourself.