The population is being forced to quarantine and socially distance ourselves in a way we’ve never done before, leading many of us fearing there’s no end in sight. This isolation can take a toll and leave you feeling isolated and alone. According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report, one of the biggest self-reported challenges for remote workers was loneliness, with 20% of those surveyed experiencing it.
It’s more important now than ever to foster community and maintain connections with others. While the internet can be anxiety-inducing, it also has tremendous capabilities for connection. Here are some quick tips for feeling less isolated while working remotely:
Make your real-life communities digital.
From a friend group call on Zoom to a family Slack channel, there are plenty of digital ways to keep in touch with loved ones. Start a group text with some friends and check in with each other daily. Try an online workout class. Missing your local book club? Writer Anne Bogel is hosting an online virtual book tour for authors who had to cancel their book signings due to COVID-19.
I’ve turned my weekly dinner with a friend into a phone call. Each Monday we call each other at 5:30 pm as we go outside to get fresh air. In doing so, we not only reconnect, but we encourage each other to practice the self-care habit of breathing outside air and leaving our own homes. Tap your friends to become online workout buddies, meditation accountability partners, and everything in between.
You can keep up your exercise habits virtually, too. Many in-person classes have transitioned to online platforms and some popular exercise companies are providing free online classes during this difficult time, including CorePower Yoga and 305 Fitness. Try competing with friends to meet your exercise goals.
Connect with old friends.
Use this time to reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while. If being the first person to reach out feels challenging, remember that you have a timely reason to text an old friend and just about everyone could use some love during this tough time.
I recently sent a friend the following: “Hi Jane! Just wanted to check in on you–miss you and hope that you are doing well with everything going on. Let me know if you’d like to chat soon.”
Connect with colleagues socially, too.
It can be easy to lose the important water-cooler conversations that happen in the office when you shift to remote work. However, you can schedule quick check-in chats with your desk buddies via Zoom, Slack or your video message app of choice.
If you have a friend also working from home, consider video chatting throughout the day as you work on your tasks. You don’t necessarily have to talk, but the presence of another person in your workspace can help normalize your workday.
Reach out when you need help.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of sadness or loneliness, reach out for help. You can let a loved one know how you’re feeling or you can call or text through free resources like Good Samaritans.
Social distancing and the need to work remotely can be isolating and disheartening for many during this already stressful time. However, grounding ourselves in community and maintaining connections with friends can help make it easier.
Simplicity Bryan is deeply entrenched in the worlds of self-help, gratitude, personal finance, and organization. She’s happiest paddleboarding with her pup and storytelling with a purpose. You can follow her here.
Image via Pexels