Social Distancing – Redefining Social Interaction

Canadians have had to start to adjust to a new way of living, by distancing themselves from anyone outside of their own household. We’ve seen employers adopt working from home models, grocery stores limit the number of people allowed in at once, and restaurants, pubs and other gathering places close their doors to the public. All of this is necessary in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the COVID-19, but what impact can it have on us?

Humans are naturally social beings who enjoy being around others. So much so, that when we become isolated it can quickly have a negative impact on our psychological health. Due to the afore-mentioned, it comes as no surprise that people have been quick to come up with creative ways to connect with each other while keeping their physical distance. So how are we connecting during this time?

Those who prefer more intimate and quiet social gatherings with friends and family have been turning to the use of online chat and video platforms to engage in group conversations, boardgame nights or even a shared after-work happy hour beverage. For the movie enthusiasts who have been missing the shared experience of going to a theater together services like Netflix have introduced new options allowing users to host watch parties with their friends. There have been people hosting virtual dinner parties, book clubs and even PowerPoint parties in which they take turns presenting on topics of interest.

Of course, there are also plenty of options for those who are missing the night-life style of social interactions. Live online pub-style trivia quizzes have been popping up thanks to platforms such as crowdpurr, musicians have been offering live streams of their music, many with an option to leave a virtual tip. There have been virtual parties featuring live DJs, live online comedy festivals and online Karaoke parties, cleverly referred to as tele-karoke parties. Online dance parties have also been popular.

After a night of virtual partying many will want to get active, luckily there is no shortage of group workout sessions to join in on, some, with many local fitness and yoga studios offering online classes for free. On the other hand, there are also several museums and art galleries that are showcasing their collections online. Finally, for those who enjoy online gaming, there is a wide array of gaming communities and platforms to checkout.

While it’s no secret that change is never easy, especially in the case of social distancing, there is no shortage of ways to connect during these difficult times. Take some time today to connect with someone you care about or make some new friends online. And remember, if social distancing is impacting your psychological health it’s important that you reach out for help, in Saskatchewan you can dial 811 for free confidential advice.

 

For more on how to protect your mental health while social distancing, click here.

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