Information about social/physical distancing is everywhere right now. As the CDC explains, limiting face-to-face contact between people is one of the best strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19. But people are social creatures. One of the best ways to help lower stress levels and access our own internal resiliency is by engaging with our social network. Connection with the meaningful people and practices in our lives is what helps us navigate challenges. What a Catch-22! During this highly stressful time, most of us cannot access our real life social networks as easily as we are used to.
So what can we do?
First off, let’s think about this as physical distancing. While we need to limit face-to-face contact right now, we do not need to limit our social contact! It just looks a little different and may take some planning.
Here are a few suggestions that AllHealth Network clinicians are talking about
- Connect with social groups – Reach out to your places of worship, community organizations, or other social groups about what virtual options they are hosting. Many religious organizations are hosting online or virtual services and community groups are shifting to remote events.
- Find ways to engage in group physical activity – While meeting a group of friends for a hike is not possible right now, many gyms, yoga studios, and other related businesses are offering online group classes.
- Organize a virtual game night, meal, movie/TV night, craft night, or other get together – Most people share that while this can feel awkward at first, they find ways to embrace the time together and the experience.
- Try connection on game platforms – Speaking of games, some gaming platforms and apps are set up to connect people from different locations. This might be the time to take up a new game!
- Participate in community activities that spread joy – A quick internet search for teddy bear hunts and howling at the moon show how people are finding ways to share positivity, kindness, and connection.
- Reach out to others! – Let people know you are thinking of them. This can be through a text message, email, phone call, letter, or card. What about finding old pictures and sharing them as a way to connect?
Remember, you are not alone in this! Even if physically separated from people, you can still connect.
Would speaking to someone help?
AllHealth Network, along with other community mental health centers, is continuing to provide services via telehealth and by phone. Our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7 and offers in-person care to those experiencing a mental health crisis. For more information and to get connected with our services, please call 303-730-8858. To learn more about what other community mental health centers are doing, please visit the Colorado Behavioral Health Council COVID-19 website.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255
How do you know if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis? Click here to learn about mental health crisis warning signs to look out for from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)