This article was written by Health in Mind. 

Visit the Health in Mind Covid-19 page for more resources and updates.

During this time of uncertainty when we are physically distancing ourselves from others, our friendships and connections have become an even more important part of our lives – it’s important that we stay connected and keep talking about how we are feeling.

We’ve pulled together some tips for how you can stay connected at work and with your friends and family in this period of change.

Staying connected at work:

  • Schedule a virtual coffee or lunch break with a colleague and chat about things other than work. Just as you would chat at the printer or in the kitchen while making a cup of tea, it’s important to schedule in some time with your colleagues.
  • There’s a lot of online platforms that you and your colleagues can try, from video conferencing to messaging tools, that can help you feel connected, no matter where you are.
  • Set up a #FormalFriday where everyone wears a formal outfit for the day. When working from home, it can be tempting to work in your gym kit or pyjamas. A Formal Friday is a great excuse to pay attention to what we wear and can help to boost your wellbeing!

Staying connected with friends and family:

  • Why not try setting up a group chat on Messenger or WhatsApp? It could be a place for you to share positive stories and funny photos, away from the constant coronavirus news feed.
  • You could host a virtual movie night where you watch a film or TV show at the same time. It’s a way to feel like you’re there together and gives you something to talk about after.
  • Many gym classes are now available online, allowing you to work out alongside other people or to watch the recording back and participate at a time that suits you. It really helps you to feel part of something, to push yourself further and to help you feel motivated.
  • Have a go at a virtual pub quiz. It is a great way to get people together and to keep your brain active. You could even use it as a chance to fundraise for a charity you care about, with participants paying a small fee to enter.
  • Pop a letter in the post or send a gift to a friend. It’s a lovely way to surprise them and show them that you’re thinking of them.

As great as technology is for bringing us together, it is possible to feel overconnected. That is why it’s important to remember to make your own boundaries and stick to them. Be mindful of how you’re feeling and make sure that you still have enough time for yourself to recover and rest. Listen to your body and schedule in some time for self-care too.

We would love to hear about how you are connecting with others too. Send us your ideas and suggestions to julie.huggan@health-in-mind.org.uk.