These are unprecedented times in which we are living. Even when “shelter-in-place” restrictions are lifted, we as a community are not going to return to social “normalcy” anytime soon. There will still be a need for social distancing – particularly for those having risk factors for COVID complications.

Regardless of your perception of the social changes, managing your connections with others can help you during this time.

For those living alone, consider making a list of friends you would like to contact. If you have friends with whom you would like to re-establish contact – there is no time like the present. (I have had several clients report great success with reaching out to long-lost relations).

Schedule contacts with your friends – and don’t feel limited to one-on-one interactions.  These apps can handle many people on the same call. So, feel free to set up a virtual brunch or game night.

There are many different video apps available (check out https://time.com/5819327/zoom-alternatives/ for a sample list).  And the technology is easier than ever. If your phone or computer does not support the technology and you can manage it, now may be a good time for a phone upgrade.

For people in relationships, the problems can be a little different. It is a very special pair (or more) of people who can be in 24/7 contact. There is no shame in being in the vast majority of those who need some space.

Consider setting up personal spaces – even if setting up that “space” means putting in earphones or plugs. Remember that sitting quietly doing your own thing is perfectly fine – as is having separate interests. And, think about planning time together – a special meal, a “date”, walking outside, or visiting with others via video apps for example.

For everyone, it helps to set goals for the days, especially things you have been meaning to do and/or look forward to doing. Don’t overschedule though, and don’t be down on yourself if you don’t accomplish your goal.

We will get back to a more social way of life at some point. For now, we can focus on improving our social connections – which will make the face-to-face reunion that much better. Be well.

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