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It’s physical distancing, not social isolation
While we move into the reality of the COVID-19 lockdown, we are hearing more stories about how social isolation is becoming a real burden for some teams.
Isolation can be toxic but staying connected is essential.
Psychiatrist Samantha Boardman says, "It's strange endorsing social distancing when so much of our wellbeing depends on social connection." She suggests frequent phone calls and online workarounds such as shared lunch breaks and holding 'happy hours' - and she suggests talking about things other than the virus.
CONNECT WITH YOUR TEAM
While social distancing and isolation are in effect, there are things everyone can do to mitigate their downsides.
Reach out to colleagues over chat, email or a video call. Ask them how they're doing and what they've got planned that day. We use Microsoft Teams to chat and call each other.
We've booked a second WIP meeting later in the week, which is more of a team check-in to see how everyone is going. We leave the worky stuff to earlier in the week.
We've also organised a weekly 'OM' session where a yoga teacher does a lunchtime meditation session.
A lot of yoga studios are offering online yoga classes too, which you can book through the MindBody app.
Social technology-facilitated connections will aid all of us in staying as healthy as possible during this time. Psychology Today suggests it's valuable to use social technology to mitigate the effects of loneliness and isolation.
TAKE NOTICE OF THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
The Ministry of Health suggests eating healthy food, taking a walk around the block and paying attention to the things that make you feel good and try to do them more often.
TAKE BREAKS AND KEEP MOVING
Take breaks. Schedule them in your diary. Go for a walk outside to release any tension and stress.
STICK TO A ROUTINE
Try and keep your regular WIPs or meetings with others. Now is the time to keep up the communication more than ever.
CALL FOR HELP
The Ministry of Health says if you're struggling and need to talk, free call or text 1737 to have a chat with a trained counsellor. They're available day and night.