We are social beings. We thrive better together than when we are apart. This is why civilizations have flourished since Mesopotamia.
With many governments across the globe instituting actions like social distancing as a means of combatting the spread of the coronavirus, there is a major shock for all of us to adjust to.
The better we are able to adjust in the short term will determine our ability to embrace the changes that are sure to come as a result of this pandemic. The most significant of these short term adjustments is social distancing.
Overnight, we’ve been thrown into a whirlwind of change that has many scrambling to understand how to cope. We here at the Plaskett Institute want to do our part to help combat the effects of the coronavirus.
Surviving Social Distancing
You might think that introverts may have it easier during this time but introverts and extroverts alike all need some level of social interaction.
Social distancing can cause boredom, anxiety, depression, stress, excessive eating, etc. So what are we to do while reducing our interaction with others and canceling plans to goto Disney World for my son’s birthday (ok so I’m a little bitter…).
Here are 5 strategies for surviving social distancing:
1️⃣Make a Plan – When our plans are thrown off, we tend not to go back to the drawing board and make a plan given the lastest conditions. Don’t just go into social distancing…make a plan that allows you stay productive and engaged. Oh, and call that person you’ve been avoiding. The conversation might surprise you!
2️⃣Keep Productive – If your plan is to binge-watch Netflix for the foreseeable future, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll become bored and even more socially disengaged. What’s worse – the effects on your health are serious – e.g. increase chances of heart disease, issues sleeping, etc
You’ve just been forced to reduce your social interactions. This is a good time to catch-up on that productive work that you’ve been avoiding.
3️⃣Stay Active – Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Listen to the recommendations of the CDC and your local government AND make sure you stay active – engage with nature; meet up with a (non-infected) friend for coffee; make a goal to lose 5lbs instead of gaining 5lbs.
4️⃣Quality Time – Unfortunate circumstances can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Although some of our travel plans and major meetings have been canceled, we have a new opportunity to spend quality time with our love ones. This is a great time for family games, great conversations, and yes, even ‘Netflix and Chill‘.
5️⃣Rest + Reflection – First introduced in my Combating Comfort and Challenge video I reimagined ‘R&R’ to be more empowering. It is essential for our health and wellbeing to have consistent, scheduled periods of rest. During these times of rest, it is a great opportunity to reflect on past successes and failures so that we can learn how to improve.
There you have it. Some of these strategies might seem simple…ok, well they are…but if we are not intentional (wait, that could be #6️⃣) the opportunity will pass us by repeatedly.
Oh, wait…did you know that there is an acronym for POOR? It is Pass Over Opportunity Repeatedly. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Take advantage of this social distancing for your benefit.