Social Distancing: How to Make the Most of it?

COVID-19 has changed our lives. It is natural for people to turn to family and friends in such uncertain times for solace. However, the risk of spreading germs challenges our basic instinct to cope via socialization. Below are a few strategies for coping with social distancing and how to make the most of it.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a practice of keeping away from being in close contact with people. If you are sick, you will stay away from healthy people. If you are healthy, you’ll practice social distancing as a protective measure against exposure to infection from the sick. Because some of us may be asymptomatic and could be carriers of the virus, the CDC has recommended we all practice Social Distancing. It is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection since it cuts down the risk of disease transmission and protects the vulnerable (the elderly, those with a compromised immune system, and/or with underlying health conditions).

Social distancing is a must. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Humans are social beings, so it’s hard when we are asked to stop gathering and socializing, as we know. We can’t deny its impacts on our mental health and emotional well-being. It is likely that some of us may feel down, lonely, depressed, stressed, and angry too! But we need to do this for the greater good of our nation and for the health our workers. This is our chance to help in a small way as citizens. If there is one thing, we can do right now to protect our families, neighbors, community, and the entire country – it is to practice social distancing.

How to make the most out of social distancing?

It is definitely not easy, but it is totally worth it. Lucky for us, technology comes in handy to keep us connected, and this is the best time to use for our advantage.

Here’s how you can make the most out of social distancing:

Virtual bonding: Apps like FaceTime, Skype, Hangouts, etc., allow you to talk and see your loved ones. You’ve got the privilege of checking on them without having to physically drive to visit them; isn’t that empowering?! Like you, your friends are looking for things to do in the comfort of their home. How about virtual workout with your friends? Put on one of LVAC’s at-home workouts, or try a virtual Les Mills class.

Life skills: If you are cooped up with kids at home, it is an excellent time to teach them some life skills like cooking, sewing, etc. Although online schooling is on, they do need a break from e-learning. Use this as an opportunity to push your teenagers to do their laundry or your third grader to do simple chores around the house. Maybe even have your younger ones learn how to make their own PBJ sandwich or any other age-appropriate fun tasks.

Time to reflect inward: Let’s admit it: more family bonding is excellent, but it is crucial to find quiet moments for yourself. Take a break from kids and the rest of the family. Use this to reflect on things, appreciate the importance of routine, and how it is an integral part of your life. Reflect on starting solid routine practices such as daily exercise (through LVAC Virtual Training), prayer, positive affirmations, meditation, or anything that lets you have control of the day. Such practices help keep your sanity no matter the situation. You could also choose a book or a podcast to enjoy your ‘me’ time.

Eat healthily & sleep well: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of choosing healthy meals and resting well. Both make your immune system stronger and lower stress. Eventually, lowering your stress levels mean you’re building a robust immunity! Be mindful to stay away from unhealthy foods, it can be tempting to snack on what you stocked up, especially when working from home.

Put your time to best use: Get a head start on spring cleaning and gardening. Now is the best time to take on household chores that you usually put off. Do it at an incremental phase and avoid going all in. Whatever activity you perform, be mindful and cautious when using garden tools or other equipment. Medical offices and hospitals are busy now, and the last thing you want is a medical emergency. You could also use your extra time to learn new skills like a new language, an online course, art, or even photography.

Look on the brighter side: Many of us are concerned about financial well-being. But think of it this way, being healthy is your first assurance for financial well-being. So, let’s make health our priority. This is no time to go on a downward spiral. We are all in this together; let’s learn to look on the brighter side. No rushed morning hours, no commute in heavy traffic, and you have more time now to cook some decent meals. Also, on a lighter note, none of us have washed their hands in our entire lives as much as we do now! 

This is only a temporary status, and if we handle it with commonsense, calmness, and grace, we can emerge as better humans. Social distancing may seem unfriendly, but it teaches us to appreciate what we have and show solidarity and community sense.

Take care & be well!

Mind & Body
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