5 Ways To Deal with The Stress Surrounding Social Distancing | #COVID-19

The world has officially separated into two main groups: the rule followers, observant of social distancing and hopeful of flattening the curve; and the risk-takers, who have been storming the world’s beaches, bars, and burger joints in spite of the coronavirus — and government and public health efforts to curtail its spread.(Psychology today).

The new coronavirus has pushed dozens of countries to implement strict isolation methods to prevent a global health crisis.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch


Social distancing means keeping a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others and avoiding gathering spaces such as schools, churches, concert halls, and public transportation.

Quarantine involves avoiding contact with others if a person has been exposed to coronavirus to see if they become ill.

Isolation involves separating an individual who has contracted COVID-19 to prevent them from spreading it to others.

Being with others is a natural need for we humans, making social distancing a little hard for most of us. It’s particularly challenging when it’s an abrupt, unexpected, and dramatic shift from lots of face-to-face time to very little. Leaving college in the middle of the semester, working remotely when you’re used to lots of in-person conversations, or losing work hours that would have put you in the company of other people. This is a dramatic shift to the standard level of social interaction that we’re used to and have come to expect.

{ Stressful times heighten our need for connection }

It’s definitely during the most stressful period of our lives when we want to be in the company of others. This provides an emotional comfort and makes us feel better.

But how can we be better at social distancing? Once we acknowledge that our need to be with other people is an essential part of being human (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), when we know that being with others is our default, we can then shift our focus on what to do without exposing ourselves or transmitting the virus.

The sad reality is that we need to set aside our normal responses to feeling bored, alone, or longing for human interaction and find other ways to satisfy these social needs. Maybe you’ve just met a potential romantic partner and want to keep seeing them(#hashtagsisisme), or you’re desperate to be with friends and fearing you’re missing out, or you’ve been with your kids and want a break, all of our normal drives are to make plans with other people.

But social distancing is not social disconnection.

Photo by Canva Photos Team

Here are some ideas and tips on making the transition to working at home and staying isolated:

  1. Maintain a Routine : Continue to get up at a similar time as you usually would and start your day and try to stick to your regular work hours. It’s also helpful to prepare for the start of your day by having a shower and getting dressed (even though you don’t have to).
  2. Plan your meals and eat healthily : Without a set lunch hour it can be easy to forget to eat a proper lunch or instead you snack throughout the entire day. Set your meal times and plan then ahead of time, eating healthy has a significant impact on our mental wellness.
  3. Create an office space : If you’re able, create an office space/work area in your home so you can set the tone for work as well as take breaks away from your workspace.
  4. Avoid Distractions :
    We all know there are many distractions when we are working from home so do what you can to remove them during working hours. It can be helpful to schedule time for checking emails and engaging in social media so that we aren’t thinking about checking them while we are working.
  5. Connect with others : Working from home can make you feel very isolated but so as others. You could use this time to connect with friends and family. Schedule video meetings with co-workers or take intentional breaks from work to interact with others, including those who may be home with you.

The CDC and the WHO recommend several basic measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Contact a health worker if you have symptoms; fever and a dry cough are most common.
  • DON’T touch your face.
  • DON’T travel if you have a fever and cough.
  • DON’T wear a face mask if you are well

It’s important to practice good hygiene, like hand-washing — which protects not only you but also others. When considering the ethics of spending time out and about, Vergara suggests reframing your view of hand-washing in the following way: “Wash your hands before you go out to protect others, and wash them again after the activity to protect yourself.” That goes for visiting the ATM, the grocery store, and the like.

More on Vox website | Psychology Today

How Are You Managing Yourself During This Period?


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