Staying Connected Amid A Pandemic: A Powerful Tool For Resilience And Mental Health

While it is necessary to practice social distancing during the pandemic, it is also important to remain socially connected. 


What does it mean to be socially connected?  

Staying connected may not be about the number of hours you and your friends are on a video call, rather it may be letting them feel seen or heard, and not alone. Remember that “providing support” to your friends or blockmates, who may be feeling overwhelmed and tired, does not entail solving their problems for them (APA, 2020). It may be about providing or being a “safe space” for others while simultaneously establishing healthy boundaries. 


Why should we stay socially connected?

Much studies have shown that perceived social support一the subjective perception of the availability of one’s peers to give support一serves as a protective factor to mental health under stressful contexts. High levels of social support can also compensate for the negative effects of low resilience on mental health that these times may bring (Li et al, 2021). 


How can I stay socially connected? 

In times that may feel isolating, technology gives a variety of ways to help deepen our social interactions. This may be by having video calls and games, or some may prefer chatting or sending memes to peers. Social support may also come from a range of sources including family, friends, pets, colleagues in your organizations, and the like. Still, seeking and providing support entail much self-awareness on what kind of connection one wishes to make today. 


Ask yourself: 

Do I want a serious conversation?

Do I want some company while studying for a test? 

Do I just want to hangout with them by setting up a watch party?

Keywords: Self Care; Pandemic; Support; Friend



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