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Connection During the Pandemic


This past week has seen the continuation of the pandemic, as well as inclement weather, which

have significantly impacted our social interactions. The feeling of belonging and connection we

get from others is an important piece of our well-being. Without it, we can start to feel anxious

and depressed. Furthermore, these feelings can be present whether you live alone or with a

roommate(s), a partner(s), or family.


I put together some ideas for increasing connection, especially at a time when connection is

difficult.


  •  If you live with others, share the ‘mental load,’ and designate which jobs people will do around the house. Then allow yourself and others to spread tasks out over several days if need be. This strategy can help reduce resentment if tasks are not distributed equitably (Meyers, 2021).

  •  Find a community online that shares your interests (Twitch, Reddit, Discord, Doodle Addicts, The Mighty, Underlined, YouTube).

  •  Mix it up and play free online games with friends/family/partners while video chatting (skribbl.io, code names, swelgarfo or scattergories)

  •  Watch a movie as a group while video chatting.

  •  If you live with others, decide which space in the house/apartment is each person’s safe space, where they can go when they need time away from people. This can improve time spent together.

  •  Write letters to a loved one or a pen pal.

  •  Stay connected to yourself by checking in with your own emotions and needs.



Go ahead and write down some ideas to try on your own and see how they work for you. It might

be difficult to remember activities that can be helpful when you feel dysregulated, so having a

list somewhere that is easy to see can help remind you. Studies suggest that planning and having

strategies available when needed can help increase happiness (Markman, 2018).


Lastly, this pandemic has brought about feelings of grief and loss, while at the same time,

allowing us to look at what we want from life. Try to be kind to yourself and let us know how

these strategies work for you.


References:

Markman, A. (2018, September 4). Happiness and social interaction. Psychology Today.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201809/happiness-and-

social-interaction

Meyers, L. (2021) Far away, so close: Negotiating relationships during COVID-19. Counseling

Today, 63(8), 24-29.

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