Coping with Isolation as Businesses Reopen
Businesses across the U.S. are re-opening after COVID-19 mandated closures. Now, many of us are battling with the desire to participate in our usual summer social activities yet still understand that it is too soon to return to our normal way of life.
Taking the heavily suggested precautions as we move forward may still be necessary in order for our efforts to be worthwhile. Of course, with that being said, finding a safe balance of continued caution with the socialization that is important for our mental health is undoubtedly difficult but necessary. In order to keep our communities and families safe from COVID-19, while also caring for our own wellbeing, it will take a bit of creativity and a lot of patience.
Better safe than sorry
One habit that many of us have had to learn and practice more during the COVID-19 crisis is being more mindful of our actions around others. Now most of us are having to regularly think about how our actions could have serious consequences for those around us and even our communities as a whole. To protect and maintain the wellbeing of our communities and ourselves, many of us have chosen to self-isolate as much as possible. Now as many places begin to slowly enter into re-opening phases, being intentional is probably more important now than ever.
Beyond potentially contracting COVID-19, there is also the chance of catching influenza or a cold, and with so many medical facilities over-encumbered with patients right now, it is likely to be difficult to get the treatment you will need if you get sick. This, of course, isn’t meant to cause fear but is actually intended to solidify why it is important to be cautious as our society opens back up. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that it is still okay to get out when you need to, it is just important to also be more conscious while on your outings. Avoiding crowded areas and events, as well as places where illnesses can spread easily such as the bank, gym or hair salon will help keep you and your family safer.
What can you do safely that still scratches that social itch? Some of the best safe indoor and outdoor activities include:
- Plan an art showing: If you are the creative type, displaying your art outside your home for people to enjoy is a great way to let out some of your creative steam and also show off some of your hard work. Invite a friend or two to walk by and chat about what inspired you from a safe six feet away.
- Organize a photo album: You have likely got a hefty collection of photos hanging out on your phone. These days it is easier than ever to order prints. Create an online document and invite your friends to pick or vote on their favorite pictures and organize them all into an album. While this activity might not take you outside, you will spend time fondly remembering all those camping trips, hikes, concerts and more as you organize your memories.
- Have a movie night: If the weather allows and you have the means, rent a projector and tell a few of your neighbors to join you from their front porch or lawn and watch a movie “together.” While the sound might be an issue just include subtitles on the screen.
Avoiding spreading the virus is a top concern and unfortunately, a lot of the activities we once enjoyed are breeding grounds for community spread of COVID-19. If you still aren’t ready to get outside, you can also always try joining or even hosting virtual meet-ups and events. With a little sacrifice and creativity, it is still possible to enjoy our days and stay connected as we keep socially-distancing.
Find more ways to come together
As we all know, the current pandemic sweeping the globe has caused many people to spend a lot more time at home than they did. This has led to many struggling with their new at-home routine, especially those who live with others. If you are spending an increased amount of time with family or roommates, it is likely you are striking nerves that used to be dealt with by some distance and time apart.
While some facilities are beginning to reopen, many of us are still working from home the majority of the work week. Add in the fact that most restaurants and bars are operating with minimal hours, on your days off, you are still stuck inside with your housemates. Before things become too hairy at home, take some time to focus internally, not just on yourself, but on your home unit.
If you are becoming quick to anger over a roommate eating your food from the fridge or the messy way your spouse cooks their lunch, then it is a time to work on building systems for a more cohesive household in order to get through these unprecedented times. Planning a night where you cook together, plant some new items in your garden or even go on a walk around the neighborhood is a great way to de-stress and spend some important bonding time with your roommate or spouse. Whatever brings you joy, invite the people you live with to join in (safely of course) so that it can make this time stuck together a bit more enjoyable.
As the future of our everyday lives continues to remain a mystery, learning how to cope with isolation as our communities open back up is essential to navigating this strange and daunting COVID-19 world. It is okay to mourn for the life we once knew, but it’s also important to remain optimistic as we begin trying to heal our world.