We’ve been hearing a lot over the past few weeks about social distancing to reduce the spread of Covid-19. I wish someone had asked a mental health professional before applying that label to the practice of protecting our individual and community health. We absolutely need to be practicing safe, physical distancing from one another. The best way to protect ourselves, our families, and our community is by following the recommendations for group size and proximity. But there is a big difference between being physically distant from one another and being socially distant from one another.
The very last thing we need right now is to socially distance. Humans are by nature social creatures, living in social groups and working together as far back in human history as we can trace. We need support. We need to stay active and engaged. We need to remember we’re in this together. And we need to remember that social isolation is a huge contributor to mental and physical health problems of all kinds.
So let’s start a movement. If you hear people talking about socially distancing, remind them of the difference. Physically distancing = protecting our health and our community. Socially distancing = loneliness, isolation, illness, and despair.
Let’s put our energy and effort into remaining as socially connected as we can be. Here are some ideas below. See how many more you and your family/friends can create for yourselves! Happy connecting, even while physically distancing!
*Group Facetime with your extended family or friend group
*Take a 6-foot distance apart walk with a friend or neighbor
*Practice outdoor yoga in your yard with a neighbor
*Write a friendly message at the edge of your driveway in chalk
*Host a video chat scavenger hunt competition with another family