Even as we begin a gradual reopening of “normal” life, we’re still being called to continue social distancing and limit our interaction with others. Doing so can help limit the spread of COVID-19 within our communities.
But all that distancing can wreak havoc on our mental health. So, how can we stay social while social distancing? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties has some suggestions.
Why Is Being Social Important for Our Health?
First things first, let’s talk about why socialization is an important part of maintaining good health and wellness. It’s really interesting, actually—it has been shown through research studies that isolation and loneliness can be just as dangerous to our health as unhealthy habits like smoking.
It may be hard to believe, but it’s true. Those who are lonely and isolated are at a higher risk of developing many physical and mental health issues.
Risk Factors for Isolation
- Being age 50 and older
- Living alone
- Having some type of impairment
- Having low socioeconomic status
- Experiencing life transitions
What Can I Do to Socialize While Staying Safe?
Obviously, the best remedy for the health risks associated with loneliness is to remain connected with loved ones and friends. That’s a bit more challenging when best practice during a viral outbreak is to stay isolated most of the time.
But let’s flip this around some. Instead of thinking of it as “social distancing,” think of it as physicaldistancing. You can still be social; you simply need to think of unique ways to engage with and stay connected to others in your life outside your home. Think virtually!
Ways to Connect Socially
- Turn a cooking class or game night into a virtual experience via video conferencing.
- Host an online book club.
- Seize the opportunity to interact with others on social media, rather than scrolling your newsfeed.
- Regularly touch base with loved ones over the phone or via FaceTime.
Feeling under the weather? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties to get the care you need from the safety and comfort of home.