With shelter-in-place for most of North Texas, it is likely you are feeling the effects of social distancing. Although you are having to alter your social calendar for a while, it is with good reason. Social distancing has the potential to keep you and those around you healthy and safe.
Social distancing is the current public health strategy intended to prevent or slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It includes measures to keep people physically separate from each other because physical closeness is thought to be how the virus goes from one person to another.
While now is not the time to gather with people, you can still check in and stay connected to family and friends. Here are some ways to carry on a virtual visit beyond a videochat.
- Stop by, but say “hi” from a distance. Maybe you have a loved one who lives in an apartment, assisted living facility or nursing home. Get them on the phone while you wave to them and visit through their window.
- Make people smile with a text. A group text message is a fun way to get a conversation going. Use emoji and memes to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
- Have a long-distance movie night. Netflix makes it possible to watch your favorite movie or TV show online with a group via Netflix Party.
- Join a pen pal club. Write and mail a letter to someone who may be isolated to cheer them up. Or, have your children do an art project and have it delivered to a loved one by mail for an unexpected surprise. A number of pen pal groups are available online as well to connect you with others around the world.
- Stream a church service. Facebook Groups offers live streaming to help church-goers keep the faith during social distancing.
- Game with a group. Host a virtual game night with friends using your smart TVs. Download smartphone apps that allow you to play with family and friends like the classic Words With Friends.
- Be a good neighbor. Check in with people in your area who may be alone or more vulnerable. One way to do it is to print out a note and leave it under your neighbor’s door, with your phone number and a list of things you’re willing to help with, from buying groceries and other supplies to picking up necessary prescriptions.
Creativity in times of crisis can serve as a great coping mechanism. It can also do wonders for the spirit. Older adults and those who are most vulnerable may especially be in need of a pick-me-up during social distancing. Learn more about how you can support and engage with a senior or at-risk individual from a distance.
If someone you know is feeling overwhelmed with emotions of sadness, depression, loneliness or anxiety, Texas Health Behavioral Health is there with you to provide personalized health and wellbeing services. You can connect with an experienced professional at 682-236-6023.