You are socialized by your caretakers from the day you are born, but what you start to learn is that your external world holds the cues on how you need to be. You take on patterns of behaviors, thoughts, and actions from others to navigate the world. You form a connection through contact, share emotional experiences with others, and bond through gatherings. In turn, you develop a social brain that helps you interpret the world you live in; yet, your inner world often remains a work in progress.
No wonder the idea of “social distancing” feels so alien. But it’s not all bad. In fact, this can be a good time to slow down and pay attention to yourself. With that in mind, here are six ways to make social distancing more friendly.
Start a meditation practice: Social distancing gives you the opportunity to reconnect to yourself—something meditation is proven to help us do.
Spend time with family or yourself: Instead of going out and trying the latest restaurant, see this as an opportunity to save money and to find new ways to connect. Dance together at home, play a game with the family online, or dive into a new hobby alone.
Take a walk: Getting some fresh air and being in nature can give you a new perspective and allows you to tune into yourself.
Enroll in an online course: Do you want to learn how to meditate? Or understand what to eat to stay healthy? Now is the perfect time to find a course online on any topic you like.
Set up a dinner date with a friend: That’s right. Set up a dinner date through video chat. You might find yourself being creative in all sorts of ways—perhaps, you have already used a platform to get a group together over dinner. What you may find is that your friends will share something about themselves that you have never known before. Why? Typical in-person conversations are often competing with external distractions, such as a noisy restaurant or street traffic. The online sphere might just be less distracting.
Start a conversation: If you’re feeling isolated or depressed during this time of crisis, it’s perfectly OK to voice how you feel to loved ones or even in online forums. Reaching out is a sign of courage; it means you are self-aware and recognize everyone gets stressed at times.