Communication Can Keep You Healthier & Happier
In a time when social isolation and feelings of disconnection are at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to develop a strong sense of connection, belonging, and support in all of your social relationships.
How Coronavirus Related Isolation Can Affect Your Health
Society has entered uncharted territory as we participate with the “Social Distancing” movement to help control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While this is an incredibly important health and safety measure to follow, it also means that most of us are experiencing prolonged periods of isolation with little to no physical contact from others. This isolation and interruption to daily routines can instill feelings of sadness, loneliness, and detachment in many people struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy.
The good news is that there are many ways to stay connected with your friends, family, and peers during this unprecedented time. Here are 3 tips to help fight the isolation:
- Use video-conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, or WebEx to connect to friends and family all at once! Get creative: host an indoor family reunion with your family, enjoy a virtual picnic with friends, reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. You can even schedule weekly check-ins with family and friends as something to look forward to.
- Work on strengthening bonds with those you previously didn’t have time to communicate with. This isn’t just a good time to maintain good relationships, it’s a great time to build them!
- Jump in your car and take a scenic drive through your community or on the highway to get a change of scenery and see some sunshine.
Learn more about the effects of social isolation on the mind and body.
Improve Communication With Your Family
If you live with family and are spending more time at home, good communication is vital to keeping the home peaceful. It is important to communicate effectively. Say what you mean, remain on topic, and think before you speak. Children are easily confused by mixed messages and will not hesitate to remind adults of inconsistent or inaccurate statements. Remain patient and communicate better with these simple tips:
- Give children an equal opportunity to contribute to conversations as adults.
- Avoid interrupting or judging while others communicate.
- Agree to disagree, kindly, and calmly.
- Allow family members to speak on their own behalf.
- Keep tone and delivery clear. Avoid making jokes during serious conversations.
- When talking to children, make sure you and your partner’s messaging is aligned.
To continue building better family communication, check out Guidance Resource’s helpful guide.
Make Working from Home, Work For You
Since you attend an online school, you’re most likely accustomed to completing your coursework from home. You have a routine, but COVID-19 quarantine means you’ve got a busier household. Between family and roommates being home with you too, it can be hard to stay focused and free of distractions. Establishing structure and boundaries is important during this time. Communicate with everyone you share a space with to create clear separation between work and “play” time. For example, when it’s time to complete your coursework, have any children in your home also work on schoolwork or another quiet project.
Of course, keep your boundaries flexible and lines of communication open. Interruptions will happen and it’s important to have a game plan in place.
For more tips on how to successfully work from home in the era of Social Distancing, here are 14 helpful strategies from Psychology Today.
UMA Wellness Center
Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and to your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to ongoing wellness resources. Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center!
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. This blog does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.