When it comes to living a healthy, happy and positive lifestyle, making and maintaining connections is something we can’t live without. Humans are wired to crave social interaction – but social distancing has made us get a little bit more creative with how we get it. We thrive when we connect with other people and with nature, so I’m always making a conscious effort to (re)connect with myself, friends, family and the things that benefit my wellbeing; mentally, emotionally and physically. Here’s what I do to maintain those connections during quarantine:
Spend mornings with your family
My family lives across the country in Rhode Island so unfortunately I’m nowhere near them but I do talk to them often. I know a lot of people are used to seeing their families and parents more often and that during this time, everyone’s missing each other. If that’s the case for you, a cute idea I thought of would be to catch up with them in the mornings. It doesn’t need to be every morning but a couple times a week, call your loved ones and catch up over a virtual matcha or cup of coffee, or a morning walk. My family has also done large extended family Zoom get togethers which are always nice. As for my immediate family, Chuck, Harvey and I have always spent our mornings together since day 1 and that is a routine we have maintained.
While connecting with others is important, this is also a time to connect with yourself. Self-reflection is a full-body experience that works to improve our wellbeing. Our thoughts create our reality, so it’s important to exercise our mind to fit different situations – which is so crucial for what’s going on right now. Self-reflection can improve self-awareness, help you see situations differently, promote a deeper level of learning, improve confidence, challenge your negative assumptions and allow you to respond before you react.
I incorporate journaling, prayer and meditation into both my morning and nightly routines. This helps get me out of my head and create a structure that keeps my days from bleeding into one another. My self-reflection practice can look like a scheduled 5-minute journaling session (love this journal for that!), taking note of important areas of my life – whether that’s family, work, health, social life, spirituality or personal growth – and meditating to keep both myself and my thoughts grounded.
If you’re looking for a specific self-reflection exercise, this one is great.
Keep your support groups going
If you’ve been counting on support groups or a community to get you through hard times, it’s important to maintain these supportive connections in times of social distancing. It could be workout buddies that keep you motivated, sessions with your therapist or a mental health and addiction recovery support group. It is ALL available online and more convenient than ever! Not only does it keep your goals on top of mind, but it also gives you a sense of accountability, connection and normalcy in this ever-changing situation.
Initiate human interactions
And it all circles back to the core human need for connection! Initiating social interactions can be as small and easy as being the first to wave when you pass your neighbor on a walk, joining a virtual book club or picking up the phone to call someone you’re missing. Everyone is craving human interaction right now, so be the person who gives someone else that gift daily.
How are you staying connected during this time? I’d love to hear.