Ways to reconnect with yourself and loved ones while social distancing

By Regence
March 26, 2020
Dustin Howard Regence Behavioral Health

Main photo: Dustin Howard, Program Director, Behavioral Health, at Regence

Our culture has become accustomed to fast-paced living, including its many distractions. This reality can make it difficult to pay attention to our own needs or make meaningful connection with those within our households. While we practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it may be difficult adjusting to the significant slowdown of our usual routines and activities. But it might give us the perfect chance to re-connect with personal needs and enhance relationships with loved ones  

Here are some ideas to consider that may help transform this time of change into opportunities for greater well-being:

  1. Revive hobbies or solitary activities you find rejuvenating
    Maybe life has become so busy you’ve lost the time or energy for things you once enjoyed, like reading or hobbies like painting or gardening. Consider using this time to get back into these activities. Not only will this help pass the time, but these activities can be a healthy outlet for any stress and anxiety you may be feeling.  
  2. Begin self-care activities like meditation, mindfulness, yoga or other spiritual exercises you find useful
    Taking time to reflect on ourselves and our true priorities is a good way to refocus on what makes life worth living. Often the activities that keep us the busiest are not always what makes us happy. Remember what inspires you and brings personal joy. This might be the chance to realign your priorities, activities and commitments as a way of practicing self-care.
  3. Schedule fun activities with those in your household for quality time
    With more people working from home, schools closing, and other big life changes due to COVID-19, those in your household might have more ‘togetherness’ than usual.  Consider activities that bring everyone together to have fun and bond, such as game nights, themed family meals, or simply just sitting together to enjoy a TV show or movie.
  4. Take a digital detox
    Our lives increasingly revolve around digital devices, such as smart phones, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Consider putting your devices away for a set time each day so you can unplug or disconnect from information and interruption. This may also be a good time to take a break from social media platforms, which can cause anxiety and stress with the perpetual flow of information that may or may not be reliable. This also frees up time to spend on activities that you find enjoyable, encouraging and mood-boosting.
  5. Write letters to those you care about
    Although we are less able to connect with others in person due to social distancing, we can remain connected through other means. Consider letter writing. There is something special about receiving a written letter from someone we care about, as if we can feel the love in the time it took the sender to write the note. Write a note to those special to you that lets them know you are thinking of them and wish them well. Update them on things you have not had the chance to communicate previously or simply let them know you miss them.

While this time is stressful for many of us amid the uncertainty and sharp changes in our way of life, there are strategies we can employ to bring out the best in ourselves, our family and the unplanned circumstances we find ourselves in. Most importantly, take care of one another as we all work together through this crisis.