In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world are isolating at home and practicing social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Social connections have become difficult to maintain as people quarantine and stay shut off from their communities. At universities, many students have transitioned to virtual learning and lack the face-to-face interactions that they had on campus.
Feeling connected to others is an important human need. Creating social and emotional bonds with other people promote wellness. Human connection is imperative to maintain mental health, especially when facing situations that can increase worry or anxiety. Here are a few tips for staying engaged and connecting with others during this challenging time.
- Reconnect with your Family
Spend time with the people you live with, whether that be your family, roommates or friends. Cook and eat meals together. Schedule a game night or time where you can sit down together and enjoy a movie. Plant a garden. While the pandemic may limit the time you can spend with members outside of your household, you can make this an opportunity to reconnect with the people you live with.
- Join University Facebook Groups
College Facebook groups are a wonderful way to meet people you learn with. Stay up to date on virtual activities and events that your school may be hosting. Everyone wants to make friends, especially in these hard times.
- Join a Campus Club
Just because you are not meeting in person, doesn’t mean that you can’t join a campus club or activity virtually. Most schools offer a range of different clubs for all types of interests. Clubs are a great way to meet friends who share your same hobbies. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
- Make a Phone Call
Stay in touch with family, friends, neighbors and classmates with a good old fashioned phone call. When text messages can start to feel impersonal, a phone call is a quick and easy way to connect.
- Digital Connections
Going digital unleashes unlimited possibilities for staying in touch. Reach out to a classmate over Zoom or schedule a Google meet up with your friends. Host a digital dinner party or gather friends online to watch a movie together. Using technology to create connections can help build community and prevent feelings of loneliness.