Since the lockdown in Italy started on March 9th in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, people started discussing Social Distancing. Spelled with proper spelling, Social Distancing sounds like something out of an Orwellian novel, like “1984” came 26 years late.
It’s scary living in unknown times. There hasn’t been a worldwide experience like this in any recent years. Governments and citizens alike are learning how to navigate and maintain order in this new world full of panic and fear.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection suggested limiting gatherings to less than 50 people during the next 8 weeks. Many schools, sporting events, libraries, concerts, and churches closed their doors. The CDC suggested people remain inside as much as possible and practice Social Distancing while out.
What exactly is Social Distancing, how do you practice it, and what does it mean for you and your family? Social Distancing, although new and somewhat nerve-wracking, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, though. Despite the fear of the uncertainty in the upcoming weeks, you can still stay safe, supported, and serene during these times.
What Exactly is Social Distancing?
Social Distancing is a new term that blossomed in the madness of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. There is still so much that professionals don’t understand about the condition, from doctors to researchers to politicians. Confusion exists surrounding how it spreads, how long it lasts on surfaces, and more.
The practice of Social Distancing came about as a way to slow the spread of the virus. At first, people wanted to avoid catching it; now it’s better to assume you have it shift your focus to avoiding spreading it. The idea is to limit contact with those around you to avoid spreading any sickness you might already have.
Social Distancing has worked in the past to slow previous pandemics. Initially, it was a recommendation from experts but even President Trump endorsed it on his Twitter on March 14th. It’s no longer just a recommendation; it’s a serious suggestion that could help save the lives of those who are most at risk.
Practicing Social Distancing
At its most basic, practicing Social Distancing means maintaining a distance between you and others. A minimum of six feet is the current suggested distance to practice, especially in public spaces like public transportation and grocery or discount stores.
Social Distancing also suggests minimizing contact with people in the outside world in general. You should limit nonessential travel, attempt to work from home if possible, and avoid social gatherings, restaurants, and bars.
Reducing the number of people you come into contact with limits the virus’s ability to spread to others. This slows the mushroom effect seen in other locations like China and Italy. The goal is to contain the situation as quickly as possible to treat people who are already affected.
How to Stay Safe and Supported
Practicing Social Distancing is an isolating experience, though. If you live alone and you’re in a self-quarantine, you realize how lonely it can get. Human beings are social creatures by nature so distancing yourself for even a few days can quickly get overwhelming.
It’s important to take steps to avoid living in fear during these times of Social Distancing. A fearful or panicked approach will limit your quality of life and impact the way you treat not only yourself but those around you. How can you stay safe and supported during these distant and difficult times?
Build a Solid Support Network
Technology has completely shifted the way you interact with the world. You’re already used to communicating with others through text messages and social media. These tools are helpful during times like these. Now that you’re forced to rely on them, though, the technological barriers feel even more isolating.
It’s important to build a solid support network of family and friends during this time. Make use of friends and family that you live with but make sure to stay in touch with those who are further away. Make more phone calls or maybe even set up video conference meetings for some face-to-face contact.
You should not only seek support for yourself but you should provide support to your loved ones, too. Checking in with people and lets them know that you’re thinking of them. They’ll likely reach out to you to return the favor.
Get Some Fresh Air
Social Distancing does not mean you have to lock yourself indoors and never go outside. You can still go for a run, walk your dog, or head out for a short bike ride. Staying shut indoors will only make the entire experience worse for you. The point isn’t to limit contact with the outdoors but to limit contact with other people.
Try to step outside at least once or twice per day to get some fresh air. You don’t have to stay outdoors for long if you don’t feel comfortable, but seeing the outside world will help keep you sane.
You can also still head to the store for food, toiletries, or medicine. It’s a good idea to limit your number of trips, though, by buying as much as is reasonable when you do head out. The less frequent your excursions to places with other people the better.
Self-Improvement While Social Distancing
One great suggestion during this period of Social Distancing is to devote some time to self-improvement. Do you have a list of books you’d like to read that you’ve been putting off? You can also sign up for one or more of the many dozens of classes available online. Pull down one of those old journals that you’ve been “meaning to” write in for years
Hiring a life coach is another option that can help you through these difficult times. A life coach not only provides suggestions and directions for your path in life but general everyday support, too. Hiring a coach can keep you grounded, focused, and headed forward during these Social Distancing times.
Does a life coach sound like something that might help you walk through the difficulty of Social Distancing? Reach out and schedule a free consultation today to learn more about how a life coach can help you. Don’t let Social Distancing dictate the direction of your life. Work on yourself during these times so you can come out stronger on the other side.