Many people have experienced a decline in mental health during the pandemic as a result of spending more time alone and missing social contact. If you feel isolated or lonely, there are ways to maintain a social life even if restrictions are still in place. In this guide, we’ll explore some simple ways to boost mental health through interacting with others.
Reach out to friends and family
Most of us have missed seeing our friends and family regularly over the course of the last year. If you’re feeling low, or you’re craving interaction and conversation that doesn’t involve work, reach out to your friends and call family members. A quick chat, a flurry of activity in the family group or a video call can make all the difference to your mood and mindset. Social interaction is hugely beneficial for mental wellbeing and it can help to reduce stress and lift your spirits, especially if you’ve been finding life tough. Now that restrictions are easing, you can also start to plan reunions that don’t involve dialling into a meeting and seeing faces on a screen. Choose outdoor locations and keep numbers small to lower risks.
Meet new people
The pandemic has made it more difficult to meet new people but it’s not impossible to date or make new friends. If you’re looking for a potential partner, there are safe ways to date, including using apps and websites, joining an agency, planning virtual get-togethers and using services like those provided by Freechatlines. You can also join local social media communities and groups for singles or use hobbies to make new friends. Online gaming has become increasingly popular during the pandemic, and it’s a brilliant way to expand your social circle, meet new friends and enjoy an escape from work or other sources of stress at the end of a busy day.
Add social events to your work calendar
There was an assumption that working from home is easy prior to the pandemic but many people have found that they are actually working longer hours while at home. This is largely because there is no set start and finish time, and you don’t have to organize your schedule to catch a train or a bus or arrive or leave the office at a certain time. If you find that you’re working long hours and you’re missing out on social interaction, talk to your boss and your colleagues and make time for social events and general conversation and chat that doesn’t revolve around sales figures, targets or customer requests or complaints. It’s beneficial for team morale, wellbeing and productivity to limit working hours and introduce an element of fun. Ideas you could suggest include a quiz, Friday afternoon drinks to finish the week on a positive note or virtual games.
Many of us have missed being sociable during the pandemic and this has affected our mental health. If you crave human contact and you’re struggling to meet new people or maintain contact with friends and family, there are ways to stay in touch, make new friends and have fun while you’re at home.