Socializing Is Vital For Our Mental Health: How to connect in this stage of the pandemic

Social relationships are an essential part of our emotional and physical well-being.

With the pandemic having lasted for over a year at this point, for many of us, it has become more apparent than ever that a lack of social connections can be detrimental. Even with the emergence of the vaccine, it is clear that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet, and this is a tough point in time for many because of it. That said, hope is not lost, and it is possible to nurture your social life.

So, what can you do? Here are some ways to connect during this stage of the pandemic.

Virtual Hangouts

Virtual hangouts are one of the best ways to connect and ensure that you and your friends or loved ones stay entirely safe. Here are some ideas:

  • Virtual food and drink tastings. Whether you’re digitally linking up with friends or a romantic partner, this is a creative, fun way to spend an evening. If you don’t want to get everything together by yourself, consider ordering in. This is one way to stay connected to your local food and drink culture while supporting a local business.
  • Virtual game nights. There are a ton of online games out there, and even better, a lot of them are free. This is a casual way to wind down and hang out risk-free. You might try trivia games, question games, video games, or even online quizzes.
  • Virtual arts and craft meetups. If you and your friends or loved ones are creative types, consider hopping on video chat to work on your projects together. Not only will you feel good about making something new, but you’ll be able to catch up with your friends and loved ones in the process.

Live Streams, MeetUps, And Online Classes

If there are events, meetups, or classes you enjoy that aren’t safe to commence in person, check to see if they are hosting a live stream. A surprising number of venues, artists, classes, and groups are hosting live stream events, classes, and online meetups. While some of these events are more social than others, they can give you a sense of normalcy and an outlet. You can also look for new live streams, classes, and groups that fit your budget, too! Trying something new or different is an excellent way to break up your routine, stimulate your mind, and bring yourself joy, all of which are vital during this time. You may consider exercise classes hosted by a local gym, online classes that suit an interest such as music, cooking, graphic design, or something else. Staying home doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your interests, and you may be surprised by what you find using a quick web search.

Socially Distant Activities

If you are able to do so, engage in socially distant activities or connect with a friend safely. Continue to check the Center For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for information on the spread of the virus, and check on vaccine information in your area regularly if you have not yet received or booked the vaccine.

Staying Positive

It can be challenging to stay positive, and no one is all of the time, but prioritizing your social connections and reaching out to those you love can help. It’s important to remember that distance doesn’t have to mean isolation. If you are struggling or need someone to talk to, seeing a counselor or therapist is an excellent option. You can look for a provider near you, or you can use an online therapy website. All of the providers on MyTherapist are licensed mental health professionals, and it’s more affordable than traditional in-person therapy is in the absence of insurance. Your mental health matters, and everyone needs support, so don’t be afraid to get started with a counselor or therapist.