Social distancing is (for now at least) our new norm. It is key to helping slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s changed the way we work and the way we interact with each other. So in our social distancing world, let’s explore why it’s more important than ever to find ways to stay connected.
The importance of staying connected
Staying connected during a time of crisis helps us manage our mental well-being. Studies also show that maintaining social connections keeps us healthier, happier and more inclined to be socially responsible.
Social distancing without feeling isolated
Social distancing can lead to us feeling lonely. Finding ways to maintain social support can help improve our capacity to cope with stress.
Use technology to host a virtual catch-up (choose from one of the many options available such as Facetime, Skype, Houseparty and Zoom). Schedule lunch or dinner at the same time or after-work drinks at the end of the week.
Now is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or interest. Learn a language, read a new book, take up baking, declutter your home, spruce up your resume or LinkedIn profile – the possibilities are endless!
Check in with your neighbours (while practising social distancing). Small acts of kindness such as offering to walk their dog or do some shopping can help lift spirits.
Social distancing and your business
With so many businesses operating with a remote workforce it’s important to find times to stay connected and ensure that everyone continues to feel part of the team.
Provide reliable access to technology such as emails, file servers and video conferencing to support collaboration.
Make sure that Managers and Team Leaders check-in regularly with team members to help boost morale and keep everyone on track.
DON’T MAKE IT ALL ABOUT WORK
Find fun ways to keep everyone connected by continuing to celebrate milestones (birthdays, work anniversaries) and hold virtual after-work catch-ups.
Social distancing and your job
If you’re one of the many people supporting Australia’s essential services, make sure you follow all guidelines to ensure your health and safety.
Social distancing also applies in the workplace so try to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between you and other workers.
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser).
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Make sure that you’re familiar with the COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) and do not go to work if you are unwell.
And finally, remember…
It’s important for everyone to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues through this challenging time. FREE resources and mental well-being support to help you cope with any COVID-19 concerns are also available at thiswayup.org.au OR coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/