Be Socially Engaged Even During a Pandemic
During this time of a pandemic and social distancing, it can be challenging to feel socially connected and supported. Through feedback of our team members, we’d like to offer ways you can be more connected even during a time of restrictions. Social interaction helps fight stress and illness and is known for helping people live longer, happier lives.
Find a Group
If you’re feeling isolated, you’re not alone in those feelings! Listening to others and sharing concerns can help people feel less alone. Look for a support group that you can join. Some employers offer an employee assistance program (EAP) that you can contact for free counseling or support. You can also consider finding an online activity or hobby group that you want to learn more about or miss doing. Search for a women’s group, men’s group, business club or anything that interests you. Local libraries and educational institutions typically have groups and activities posted on their websites that you can learn more about. If you don’t see a match, consider starting your own group.
Take an Online Class or Workshop
While you may be spending more time at home these days, take the opportunity to enroll in an online class that you’d enjoy or one to benefit your well-being. Free courses are available out there on topics like The Science of Well-Being, Learning How to Learn and Behavioral Finance. If you have children at home there are many online resources available with options ranging from social clubs to art to extra help in math or reading. If you want to further your career, look at local educational institutions for learning opportunities. A new focus may help relieve stress and enhance your knowledge.
Commit to a Challenge with Others
Now may be a good time to take on a challenge, even in the midst of life’s challenges. A challenge of your choice is one you can control. You have the power to complete it and see results. One Baptist team member, Rachel K., shared that she is currently doing a summer fitness challenge with a group.
“I like to take on a challenge with like-minded people,” said Rachel K. “In my current one, we message in the mornings to determine what our daily goals are, and then check-in, in the afternoon for accountability.”
Another team member, Mandy F., has been doing a 30-day self-reflection journal prompt with her mother-in-law who lives in another state.
“I could tell my mother-in-law and I were both feeling sad so this daily writing gives us something to look forward to,” said Mandy F. “We share our responses. It has brought us closer together and feeling happier.” Try a challenge that interests you and find a partner or group to join you.
Use Technology to Schedule Fun Time with Family or Friends
When you can’t see your friends or family in person, use technology to schedule social time. Some team members have shared that they have been using Zoom video conferencing to stay in touch with loved ones to do the following: play Bingo with a group of friends, make a recipe and eat together, draw pictures with grandchildren together, read stories, act out charades, answer trivia, etc. Schedule fun on your calendar and connect with others so you remain socially well, now and throughout this pandemic.
We hope these suggestions help you feel more connected with others and more socially engaged during these times. At Baptist, we are here for you at every stage in your life’s journey.