It’s going to be very easy to slip into a complete isolation over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, we’re not built for this lack of contact with each other. We’re going to miss our families, our friends and our routine. This means we’re going to have to look for alternative ways to stay in touch. Whilst recovering from the surgery I had two weeks ago (which you can read about here if you missed it), I was trialing a few things to keep myself going. Here’s what I found worked:
I turned my social engagements digital. So, I think phoning your friends on a whim is a great idea. However, I think this also doesn’t quite feel like you’ve done something different. I ring my people on a regular basis, I prefer it to texting. So, I try and emulate my coffees and lunches instead. I set a time and date. I arrange a coffee or lunch date with 1 or a few pals and we all get on video. I think the added bit of seeing each other’s faces really helps.
I’ve been quite active in a couple of group-chats too! What I think is important here is variety to keep yourself entertained. By that I mean a variety of people and topics. I have a meme group chat which does what it says on the tin. It keeps me chuckling anyway! I also am very much engaged in my class group-chats. Although, that probably has more to do with the fact that classes are a bit all over the place being online and assignments are due in! I like to think I’m a bit of an arty-fart. I have nothing on my pals though. They’ve started a meditation Whatsapp group. Everyone in the group is required to do a new task posted into the group each evening. They also have to follow a new meditation Youtube video shared into the group each day created by one of the group members. Each group member shares that they have completed the chats into the chat. It may not be for everyone, but it still feels like you’re a part of something.
Speaking of being a part of something, try getting involved with some online challenges. I’m following the Creators.ie 14 Bloggers, 14 Days and 14 Challenges. Each day a blogger of a different category sets a challenge. This could be cooking, exercise or photography, etc. Everybody shares and engages in each other’s results! I set my #AsGaeilge challenge on Monday this week.
Finally, get out and exercise with the people you live with whilst maintaining a social distance of 2 meters from those you don’t. I’ve been out walking at least 5km a day with my mum at lunch times and then cycling with her in the evenings. I think it’s encouraged us to not be so attached to our phones and hide away in our rooms. It also means if there’s any worries on your mind, there’s plenty of opportunity to chat! I’ve also been following dad around the garden as he tries to get stuff done, probably doing his head in.
I hope those bits and bobs give you a bit of peace of mind that social isolation doesn’t have to be so isolating! There’s plenty of options to choose from, so you shouldn’t be too stuck. We’re doing this for each other and all our loved ones. Stay safe, engage and look after yourselves!