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Socializing in Times of Pandemic and Isolation

A global pandemic itself is enough to create panic among masses but combine that with social isolation and there you have it: a lonely, boring space cut-off from your daily interactions and hobbies.

A study at Brigham Young University discovered that social isolation increases health risks and is as harmful as alcohol abuse or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. If you thought that obesity was the biggest threat to your health, then consider this; Isolation and loneliness are twice as harmful.

The absolute last thing you need right now is another threat to your health. Staying connected digitally is essential. Yes, isolating yourself is crucial right now for your own well-being as well as for that of your loved ones. However, it doesn’t have to be lonely! There still are healthy ways to socialize during lockdowns, whether you’re single and looking for dating options, or simply in need of human contact, you need to realize we are all in the same boat here instead of just sitting with your own thoughts all day long (and overthinking anxiously, I daresay). Let me share a few ideas on how you can use this time productively while still taking mandatory precautions.

Most of our daily routine revolves around the people we work with or study with. Having to work from home or taking online classes can feel lonely, affecting both your motivation and productivity. How to avoid this? Simply create a virtual group with all your colleagues or mates. You can make use of creative solutions like Slack and Zoom to make the experience more productive and interesting. You can have daily meetings over video calls (a reason to get out of bed and dress up!) or just check up on each other occasionally. Brainstorm and bounce ideas around just like you would normally do!

Up next are virtual workouts, the perfect solution to closed gyms and exercising in a group while maintaining physical distance. Instagram workouts are now a big thing, thanks to celebrity trainers like Megan Roup and fitness fans that all join an Instagram live workout session. Now is the time to join supermodels and like-minded fitness enthusiasts from all around the world while being in the comfort and safety of your own house! There are several different kinds of workout sessions being held online by various trainers. Explore options and choose the one that suits you the most.

Similar sessions are also being held by meditation gurus where people from all around the world come together for a spiritual experience. It is never too late to have do some self-reflecting and enjoy quiet, alone-time. 

Apart from being productive, this is also a great time to catch up with old friends that you were too busy to meet up with earlier. You can make time for video calls and even plan virtual fun activities or games together. Fun apps like HouseParty make this a whole lot more fun. You can play games like Pictionary, Heads Up and many more along with as many as 8 friends at a time over a video call. Want to have a Netflix party with your friends or partner? Netflix’s recent collaboration with Google Chrome allows you to watch a movie together with your loved ones and add comments as well. Combine this with some snacks and you’ll have yourself the perfect movie night!

If you’re an active user on social media, this time can be very trying in terms of information overload. Try not to spend all your time on Instagram or Facebook. Instead, try to interact with social media in a healthy way. One way to do so is to participate in some of the ongoing challenges on Instagram and other mediums. There is something for everyone, from couples to siblings and for individuals as well. Participating in these challenges will give you a reason to engage with your loved ones, create something fun, and share it with the world. It will also keep you from being on your phone constantly and stuffing too much information in your mind.

Another way to limit your screen time is to join virtual book clubs. WhatsApp and Facebook groups are now bringing reading enthusiasts closer than ever. Talk about your favorite book with other book lovers or look for new book suggestions, these groups will keep your mind busy for sure. You can also utilize this time to finish any old books that you left midway for lack of time!

Whichever activity you decide to take up, there’s one thing for sure: this is the worst time to be lazy. With almost zero deadlines to meet, this time can turn you into a couch potato. Make sure you’re taking a balanced diet that strengthens your immune system. You can also use this extra time to experiment with new recipes and learn new ones as well! Messy room, dirty laundry, and an overall unorganized routine will get to your mental health sooner or later. It is important to keep your space cozy yet organized as you are spending all your time here in just one place. 

I believe keeping up with your loved ones along with participating in fun and productive activities is the best way to keep yourself healthy and sane during this difficult time. What is your favorite thing to do now-a-days?

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