It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re homebound. You’re not hanging out with friends. You’re not chatting with coworkers. You may not even be seeing family. If you’re feeling unsettled with our new normal of social distancing, and you’re struggling without regularly connecting with others, you’re not alone.
The good news is that thanks to technology, you can still maintain personal connections. From talking it out to virtual water coolers, we’ve rounded up six ways to connect with others when you’re practicing social distancing, but still want to stay social.
Talk about your anxieties
These are uncharted times and they’re likely causing uncharted anxieties in all of us. That’s why it’s essential to express how you’re feeling. Failure to do so can make your anxieties snowball, and you’ll wind up feeling even more isolated. So reach out to a friend or family member. You may be relieved to find out they’re feeling the same way. Most health insurance companies offer mental health services, some even offer counselors available 24/7 via text message.
Pick up the phone (and call someone)
Many of us are so used to texting that it’s rare when we actually call someone. But it’s times like these – when we’re all facing uncertainties and cooped up at home – that make connecting with our actual voices so important. Call a friend. Call a family member. Use this unusual time to reconnect with important people you may have lost touch with. You’ll be surprised how happy people will be to hear your voice (and possibly your face!) – and you’ll be happy to hear theirs, too.
Harness the power of video chats
Speaking of your phone, or even your computer, how about rounding up a group of friends or family members for a virtual get-together? You could all “meet for coffee,” enjoy a happy hour with appetizers and wine, do karaoke, cook a meal at the same time or read books to each other’s children. The sky’s the limit! Whatever you decide to do, keep it light and fun and you’re guaranteed to log off with a smile on your face.
Get social on social media
If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed without interacting with anyone, it’s time to up your social media game. Social media gives us a unique opportunity to reach out to friends, family and even friendly strangers from afar. Use it to laugh. Use it to keep informed. But be sure to interact with others. Comment on posts. Upload a family dance video. Share some cute photos of your puppy. Voilà! You’re now social – from the comfort of home.
Create a virtual water cooler
If you’re lucky enough to have a job you can do from home, you may suddenly be on your own. Working remotely may feel relaxing at first, but can quickly become lonely if you’re not regularly connecting with coworkers. Some easy fixes? Instead of emailing someone to ask a question, give them a call. If you work with a team, a daily conference call can help you feel connected. Even better? A weekly video chat just to catch up with each other.
Send a friendly email to a coworker who’s adjusting to their new schedule or work-from-home environment. Thank the grocery employee who’s stocking shelves during your next grocery run. Leave a note of appreciation for your mail carrier or anyone else who’s putting others first in order to provide an essential service. Words of encouragement can make others feel connected, and you’ll find yourself feeling good, too.
We want to stay connected to you
Our customers, employees and the communities we serve are important to us. From managing your account to government assistance programs, we’ve gathered resources that may help you during the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit OMF.com/HeretoHelp to learn more. Follow @OneMain on social media for updates, tips and to stay connected to the OneMain community.