The global COVID-19 lockdown has forced more than 50% of the world’s population into a social distancing or social isolation scenario.
While this strategy is one of the only ways to control the rampant spread of the virus, humans are social creatures. And, the impact of having to spend weeks and months not being allowed near anyone else, is resulting in negative consequences of their emotional and mental health.
The article titled “What COVID-19 Is Doing to Our Mental Health” highlights the following facts:
- American residents are reporting “significant and sustained increases in the symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
- “Women, minorities, people with pre-existing conditions, and adults under the age of 34 are reporting higher rates of fear and anxiety.”
The challenge is that much of this pandemic is unscripted. No one knows what the future holds. And, it’s this fact that is causing much of the depression, fear, and anxiety in people. And, when this stress and anxiety is added to the emotional and mental health challenges as a consequence of the need for social distancing for the foreseeable future, the repercussions can be fairly severe.
At this juncture, it’s vital to note that we need to change what we can and accept what we can’t change. Therefore, we cannot change the virus’s infection rate and trajectory, but we can work at connecting with people during the seemingly unending lockdown phase.
Therefore, by way of offering a solution to the challenge of connecting with other people in the social distancing age highlighted above, let’s consider the following 3 ways to help you improve your mental health by connecting with other people:
Connect other people via an online speed dating platform
The benefits of signing up with an app that employs a random chat model are numerous. However, the most important advantage is that this app is country-independent; therefore, people can chat with many other people from all over the world. And, if there is a connection or match between two people, they can chat for as long as they would like to. On the other hand, a chat can be terminated almost instantly should one of the chatting couple decide they do not want to continue with the conversation.
Join an online discussion group
Discussion forums that cover general topics, as well as specific genres, are available on the Internet. Joining such a group is a great way to communicate and connect with people who share the same interests. A book club is a typical example of an online discussion platform. A virtual book club functions the same way as a physical club, except that members meet virtually, using a communication tool like Zoom, where everyone can join the chat simultaneously.
Plan regular coffee dates with friends and family
In his article titled, “Why Face-to-Face Connections Still Trump Digital Ones,” Antonio Gabola highlights the fact that physical interactions are far more beneficial to the human psyche than digital connections.
However, face-to-face communications are no longer possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, digital communications are a viable replacement for physical chats. Consequently, connecting with friends and family digitally forms, and will continue to form, an essential part of the post-COVID-19 era. And, these virtual relationships must be nurtured carefully so that people do not remain isolated and out of touch with other people for any length of time.