Social distancing is the practice of increasing the physical space between people to help slow down or reduce the spread of an infectious disease. In the case of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people of all ages practice social distancing to mitigate the spread of the disease.
Some ways to practice social distancing include staying six-feet apart from other individuals, regular hand washing, and avoid hand shaking or hugs. The reason for maintaining a six-foot distance between people is because droplets from a person’s sneeze or cough may be carrying the virus and infect someone nearby. Keeping a distance helps minimize the chances of getting infected with, or spreading the virus.
Maintaining strong relationships during social distancing
The best thing we can do right now is remain positive when the news and continual updates can increase your feelings of anxiety and stress. This is why it is important to find time in your day to connect with someone and share a positive story or sentiment.
Openness refers to maintaining transparency with others when discussing relationships, your feelings, and many other topics. This can feel awkward over the phone, but you can leverage video calls to foster connection through nonverbal cues, self-expression, and the practice of active listening. So, if you have the option, a video call is always the best way to practice openness and truly connect with others. And, remember the basics of active listening: eye contact, nodding of the head, or verbal encouragement.
Often people feel confident that their family and friends know that they love them. This means that many people don't take the time to tell their family and friends that they love and appreciate them. In times of social isolation, take a moment and provide your loved ones with assurances of appreciation and admiration.
Ensure that all parties in any relationship or friendship share the task of contributing to the relationship. For example, share the task of deciding who will call or text first so that this burden isn’t only taken on by one person in the relationship. Take this a step further by sharing all tasks—this can mean alternating who plans the next event or activity, even if it’s a simple quarantine Happy Hour!
Shared networks tend to exist among families because, as a family, you likely know a lot of the same people. Knowing the same network of people gives you a deeper connection. If you have networks that are at a distance, this is a perfect time to reconnect virtually.Take the lead as a connector in your network by facilitating connections inside and outside of your network.This a great to expand and enrich your group. For example, connecting your friends and family to someone in one of your other networks who is able to share tips on finding balance while working remotely is a great way to leverage your diverse networks and support others!