The spread of the coronavirus and resulting physical distancing requirements have left many people feeling isolated. However, despite the distance, people are still finding ways to connect and help each other. Want proof? We asked Guideposts readers to share their best tips for handling social isolation. We received dozens of answers on social media and we've picked some to share here. From letter writing to gardening and connecting with friends in new ways, here's how our Guideposts family is staying positive and safe during the pandemic.
Plenty of Guideposts readers told us how important it's been for their mental and emotional health to stay in touch with friends and family. Luckily, social media and technology make that easier than ever. One Guideposts fan on Facebook shared how she's reaching out to her loved ones:
"I reached out to cousins I hadn't heard from in a long while by email and it has brought so much laughter and good memories back to us. [I] called some friends who I used to see fairly often, but lost touch. And social media in this case has also been a good way to reach out." – Karen M.
Many members of the Guideposts family say gardening has done wonders for their mental health while social distancing. Gardening is a wonderful way to soak up the outdoors while working on a project that not only keeps you occupied, but is good for the environment and, depending on what you grow, your health too. But don't take our word for it. Here's what one Guideposts reader had to say:
"I would say plant. [It's] just so good to wait and see that there is a life that’s going to emerge underneath that soil." – Marilyn C.
A few Facebook fans shared an interesting art project they've been taking part in. It's called the Kindness Rocks Art Project. Participants spend time painting rocks with an inspiring message that they then share with friends, family and often strangers. Here's more info about it from a Guideposts reader in case you're interested:
"It’s just a simple message that brings a smile and warmth to someone's heart. These painted rocks [are] just a simple, heartfelt message of someone caring, spreading kindness, joy, and hope. You may never know how much it will mean to those who find your rocks." – Jim F.
Just because we're practicing social distancing to curb the spread of this virus doesn't mean you can't be of service to others. Plenty of Facebook friends shared with us ways they're still making a difference in their communities. Here's one example:
"Think of ways to serve—send cards, make phone calls, pray, sew masks, mow the churchyard, keep your church signs, web site [and] social media updated with positive messages, send your offerings regularly, and pray some more." – Missy M.
It's easy to get stuck in your own head when you're isolated from friends and family. That feeling of loneliness can lead to increased anxiety and depression so it's important to check in with yourself and pinpoint what's causing you to feel blue. Our friends on Facebook recommend trying to switch up your point of view:
"Look for the blessings that are a part of the experience you are having. Be kind and gentle with yourself and others. Choose compassion over aggravation. Remind yourself that this is temporary, things change and we do adapt. May you be happy, healthy, and safe." – Linda M.
Sure, technology and social media are great, but there's a bit of magic in getting a physical letter through the mail. It harks back to a forgotten time, and shows you've put thought and care into your relationship with someone. Here's why one Guideposts reader recommends snail mail as a way to connect with friends and family:
"I try to write a note or card every day to someone. I believe it helps them, it helps the USPS and it helps me." – Debbie H.
Maybe letter writing is just a step to something bigger? Now's the time to embrace your creativity. Perhaps by writing that novel you've been thinking of starting? Or maybe by learning to knit, paint or play an instrument. That's what this Guideposts reader is doing:
"I just completed the manuscript for a book. Now it’s in the editing phase." – Preston V.
There's a reason so many people are deciding to adopt pets during this quarantine. There's an element of comfort and companionship a pet can bring that helps lift the spirit. So whether you have a pet already, or you're thinking about getting one, take this Guideposts reader's advice:
"Go out in your yard, walk around, and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Play with your pets more." – Deb M.
Now's the perfect time to work on your spiritual walk and find deeper meaning in your faith and relationship with God. Study, meditate and pray as often as you feel called to. And always remember, you're not alone.
"Stay on the word of God. When all this started, a couple of preachers I trust and learn from started [to] do daily 10-minute broadcasts that have been a blessing" – Kerri D.
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