As we continue to self-isolate, we will likely encounter a second pandemic; but not the one that you might be thinking. We’re talking about a wave of mental health issues related to the hazardous combination of feelings of isolation, stress, the unknown, and cabin fever.
Take a proactive approach! How do we stay connected when we are so isolated? Here’s a few tips:
Make Friends with Technology
If you haven’t already done so, start downloading free apps and programs like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Zoom, etc. There really is no time like the present to learn how to use them. Not sure where to get started? Ask a tech-savvy friend! You may be surprised how easy and intuitive some social networking apps are!
Schedule Time with Friends and Family
If you schedule it, you’ll do it. When keeping your social distance, you don’t necessarily want to run your day by the mentality of “flying from the seat of your pants.” You’ll want to build a schedule and create some kind of routine for social time.
Think outside the box and use technology and social media in different ways. Here’s a few examples:
Create Facebook groups with your close friends. Post activities, inspirational quotes, things that make you laugh, etc. Everyone can take turns creating an activity and participating.
Why not use video calling to play a board game together or have a virtual Netflix party?
Talk to your fitness friends; can you do a workout together by video?
Have an Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, etc.? Set up a time to play live with a friend.
Create a book list and share it with your friends (we recommend Good Reads). Are they reading something amazing you want to read? Start a mini book club! Set chapter goals and arrange a time once a week to talk about what you’re reading. Use an app like Kindle to download books without going to the store to buy one.
Reach out for Support
Are things getting too much? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are tons of resources at your fingertips. Check to see if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program, go online to Shoppers Drug Mart where they offer a free online stress program, or call local mental health support centres. It’s okay to not be okay. Get in touch with a professional if you need it.
Here are some Apps/Websites/Resources to check out: