With governments implementing strict policies to maintain social distancing due to Coronavirus, you do not have a choice but to abide by these self-isolation regulations to control the spread of this pandemic.
But it isn’t easy for you to sit at home in isolation.
Especially if you’re so used to meeting everyone at work and hanging out with friends.
The current circumstances caused by the Coronavirus can be mentally stressful and draining and may cause anxiety for many.
But we are lucky to be a part of a generation where technology has enhanced so much, giving us plentiful online forums for social interactions.
Social media, in itself, is a huge blessing for all of us to stay connected virtually, if not physically.
Your health matters.
Therefore, to keep you healthy from the expected drawbacks of social isolation, here are a few ways in which you can stay safe at home during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, you’ll still be able to connect to your social circle through social media forums and a handful of other options.
How to Use Social Media to Help With Social Distancing
The internet is a blessing in disguise in these Coronavirus days where you are working from home, and are not allowed to leave your house to meet friends and family.
For your mental health and well-being, you must not let the anxiety that is being caused by this physical distance overpower your mind.
But how do you stay sane during social distancing?
Consider using the following platforms or tools to connect with your family and friends.
1. Use Social Media or Zoom to Catch up With Friends & Family Members
Almost all the social media websites and applications today offer this feature where you can video chat with your friends and family.
You can even have a group video chat with more than 2 people on most of the social media platforms out there.
You might be in quarantine and start feeling a little restless, but through these applications, you can stay connected with the people who matter the most every day, even if you are video calling them just to say hi.
Imagine having your morning coffee with a friend over Facebook, Instagram, or Zoom.
It’s definitely going to be an instant mood-lifter in times of social isolation. It is especially true for people who feed off of interacting with people.
If you would check the most trending Instagram and Snapchat stories, people are sharing images of themselves video chatting on Zoom, Skype, Instagram, and even WhatsApp.
Here’s a screenshot of an Instagram story showing multiple friends video chatting with each other during the quarantine.
Zoom is one of the best apps that you can use for this purpose.
The best part is that it offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings.
If you still can’t decide how to go about your day or you’re feeling alone at home try some of the tips below.
Here is what you can do, using either social media or apps like Zoom, to connect virtually with your loved ones.
- Create a time for all of your friends and family to connect. For instance, make a video call to your family at breakfast, while you both can have breakfast at the same time but in different places. This will help you feel connected and happy that you are not alone.
- Want to celebrate good news, a promotion, a birthday, or even an achievement as small as nailing a recipe? Video call your friends while you are at it, tell them it’s a celebration party, and then party together virtually through these social media platforms.
- Don’t want to cook alone, eat alone, or watch the TV alone? Connect virtually with your family and friends. Watch the same shows while staying online at the same time, feeling their presence through your laptop or your phone.
You have the entire internet to yourself, make the most of it!
2. Host or Join Live Watch Parties
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many events to be called off as larger gatherings are discouraged during this phase.
And therefore, people are missing out on a lot of events that they would have been attending otherwise, including concerts and seminars.
If you are someone who was hosting a concert, or a party, or even an informative seminar, then you can host ‘Watch Parties’, and let people join these watch parties virtually and have fun within their apartments.
Here’s an example to show how it works…
Grand Ole Opry did not allow any live audience for their show, but this did not keep them from entertaining music fans who loved the show.
They still hosted the show live on March 21, entertaining all the fans who watched the show on their televisions.
If you are a DIY maker, then this has to be the best way to pass your time by engaging your audience and showing them how you make your DIYs.
Marketers, on the other hand, can carry out informative watch parties, where they can interact with their audience, answer their questions, and help them through any query.
Many schools and universities carry out online classes to make sure that the students do not miss out on their regular learning.
Such applications like Zoom can be fruitful sources to make students interact with one another on educational topics or otherwise.
3. Host Virtual Events & Invite Your Friends
A number of people had birthdays and weddings planned for these months, which unfortunately will not be taking place in large gatherings any more since Coronavirus is spreading pretty quickly.
But that should not stop you from celebrating your happiness through virtual forums, right?
You can plan virtual events, invite several people to join you online, and just have a ball!
A friend hosted an online virtual event called “Coconuts and COMEBACKS.”
It was a live stream of his event, virtually connecting 40 people together and not letting the Coronavirus pandemic put their morale down.
His Facebook status later showed how immensely happy he was after hosting this event, which is exactly how you would feel once you host a virtual event for your friends and family.
And if not host, you can at least be a part of the fun and feel happy about not missing out on the little happy moments of your life.
If you put your mind to it, you can always find your way through it.
4. Use FaceTime or Messenger to Connect With Friends & Family
If you are an Apple user, now is the best time to connect with your family using FaceTime.
And all Android users out there, you can opt for Facebook Messenger, which is yet another amazing online application that keeps you connected with your family and friends who are far away, quarantined in their own homes.
Life in isolation is not a piece of cake for all.
While some might be enjoying the freedom of sleep-eat-repeat, there comes a time where everyone feels that this is mentally exhausting to be living within the four walls and interacting with no one outside the house.
This is the reason why such apps help you network with your friends and family at any time of the day. And even when you all are stuck in your own homes, you can still feel connected virtually through the internet.
The emotional support that one gets from a family member or a friend is incomparable.
And during this stressful time of being locked down and under the attack of a virus that is spreading so quickly, a virtual call from a loved one can help you get through the day positively.
So use your gadgets, call your parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors, and keep yourself mentally occupied for your own well-being.
5. Create a Netflix Party
Before being locked down in isolation, everyone had movie nights with family and friends, where you would eat popcorn while you watch and laugh together.
Since you cannot do that anymore, this is something that is missed by many these days.
Here is a piece of good news for you.
You can still do that virtually by creating a Netflix Party.
It is something not everyone is aware of.
You can create a Netflix party with your family and friends, and even when you are physically distant, you can virtually enjoy a movie night together.
Remember That You Are Not Alone
This is probably the first time, in a very long time, that almost one-third of the world has been negatively affected by a disease.
It is not easy to accept the fact that our lives have changed overnight, where we cannot even think about leaving our house to meet our loved ones in fear of Coronavirus.
It is in the best interests of the people around you and yourself that you maintain this social distance and avoid any physical interaction with the people around you.
Everyone is going through this, and everyone knows how lonely it may feel.
Thus, it is very important to connect with your ‘people’ through these tough times virtually.
Every human being acts differently in such situations.
You might see people who are more than happy in isolation, while there might be others who are going through anxiety all on their own, with no one to give them a helping hand.
Be their helping hand, but only virtually.
Connect with them, call them regularly, video call them, check on them when they don’t message or call you in days, and just try to make sure that this social distancing is not harming their mental health in any way.
Social distancing can be a significant change for people who are all about socializing. And those are the individuals that you need to take care of the most during these weeks and months.
Since everyone is distracting themselves using social media platforms and interacting on all the social media apps, let’s not forget those elderly people who are probably too feeble and are not aware of how the technology works.
Help them through this as well.
If you have grandparents or neighbors who are old, then call them up often and help them virtually.
Ask them if they need anything, or if they want to talk to someone.
Help them connect with you virtually.
Elderly people long for company, and during these Coronavirus days, it is vital that you accompany them virtually by video calling them often during the days and making sure they are healthy and doing well.
You Come First
While you are helping others maintain their sanity, do not lose yours.
Your mental health is as important as theirs.
Don’t stress yourself out, and don’t hide what you are feeling just to keep others mentally stable.
We often need help when we are socially and physically distant from the world.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to people for help.
For instance, if you need to talk to someone right now, just call them and speak to them.
Tell them about your anxieties, if you are feeling any.
Venting helps ease the stress out.
Try to keep your mental health at a top priority because only a healthy you can help others.
The world might be stuck in a crisis because of Coronavirus, but do not let this pandemic put you down in any way.
You are stronger than this and can make the most of your time at home, being more productive.
Use your time wisely, make the most of it and help others as well through this crucial time.
Nobody is sure about how long it will take for Coronavirus pandemic to end.
We do hope it is soon that this social distancing policy lifts up, and we can live our normal lives outside our homes without the fear of catching the virus.
However, let’s also be prepared for what might be our life for a while.
People’s lives have been influenced drastically by this virus, and mostly in a negative manner.
Now it is up to you, how you can mold this change into a more positive one, and set an example for others who are feeling hopeless right now to make the most out of this opportunity of being physically isolated.
Together we can, together we will!
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All screenshots taken by author, March 2020