9 Ways To Stay Connected And Grounded If You’re Still Isolating
Stroll through your average grocery store, and you’ll see relatively few people wearing masks despite breakthrough infections and lower-than-hoped-for vaccination rates. It seems like everyone wants to return to normal as if the pandemic has ended. However, the danger remains for many, especially those with certain medical conditions.
As a result, you can experience more negative mental health symptoms than ever if you’re among those who still need to take extra precautions. You must take care of yourself now more than ever. Here are nine ways to stay connected and grounded if you’re still isolating.
SEE ALSO: The Cry For Love From Children
Did you know that performing acts of kindness benefits your mental health? Volunteering releases feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin that boost your mood. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave your couch to reap the benefits while doing good for others. You can find online volunteer opportunities for any cause you support, from health care advocacy to raising money for homeless pets.
Set up a check-in call
Rates of mental illness skyrocketed during the pandemic. Nearly one-third of adults reported anxiety and depression symptoms, compared to only one-tenth before news of the novel coronavirus broke and changed everything from the economy to child care arrangements. Even if you feel relatively stable and sound, other people in your life might be suffering in silence. Why not set up a weekly check-in call with an equally isolated friend? You’ll both enjoy the camaraderie, and you don’t have to chat for hours — although you can feel free to enjoy it if that ends up happening.
See Friday night lights from a distance
Many schools returned to more of a normal sports schedule this year, much to the delight of football fans everywhere. However, you don’t have to sit in crowded bleachers to cheer for the home team. Most high school stadiums are open, allowing fans to observe the show from a safe distance. Pack a blanket and a picnic and make a fun evening of it. You might not get to see the game-winning touchdown from your vantage point, but you’ll hear the excitement in the announcer’s voice and feel it in the air.
Wash your car
Many Americans have no idea who their neighbors are. This lack of connection can do more than increase your feelings of isolation. It can be downright dangerous. There’s considerable safety in neighborhoods where everyone knows one another and is aware of who belongs on which front porch — and who doesn’t. One easy way to keep your social distance while getting to know the people in your neighborhood is to polish up your ride. Pull the car into the driveway and give it a thorough cleansing before the first snows fall, making winter silt a constant companion. Do a complete detailing job, and try to strike up at least one conversation with a passersby.
Attend online services
Do you miss the camaraderie of your church? You might not have to forego your weekly service. More churches have online worship that you can attend from home. Along with attending services, consider signing up for a Bible study group or helping out teaching your faith to youth. You’ll deepen your beliefs while feeling more involved in your spiritual community.
Join a book club
Many people who weren’t avid readers before the pandemic discovered this joy during the lockdown. Whether you’re new to the bookworm crew or are a seasoned veteran, you’ll feel more connected when sharing your love with others. A quick Google search reveals no shortage of online book clubs for every genre under the sun. Find one that appeals to your interests and enjoy sharing your love of literature with fellow bibliophiles.
Get fit with a VR friend
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable meeting a friend at the gym. Why not set a virtual fitness date? Today’s apps make it easier than ever to encourage each other. You can use tools like fitness trackers to set up challenges. You’ll have a blast meeting your fitness goals while sharing your inspiration with a friend.
Pick up books at the library
Have you run out of money for downloading new volumes to your Kindle? Don’t despair if you lack shelf space. You can still enjoy the latest reads from your local library — without breaking quarantine. Many municipal libraries offer curbside pickup. Select the books you want, and one of the staff will bring them to your car.
You don’t have to follow a religious faith to benefit from meditation. Doing so can help you gain clarity while easing mental health symptoms. You only need about three minutes per day to get started — any longer might turn you off the practice. You’ll naturally begin to add more time as you advance. If you struggle to clear your mind, you can find guided meditations on YouTube to help you tune into your inner world.
Keep Calm and Isolate On
You could feel lonelier than ever if you’re still isolating as the world returns to normal. Use a few smart tips to stay connected and grounded as the pandemic continues to affect the world.
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