We’re all facing a strange new world right now. And, staying home is a big part of it. As we all strive to follow the CDC’s guidance, millions of us are now spending a lot more time there. If you feel unsettled about it, you’re not alone.
Whether you live with a partner, spouse, parents, children, pets, roommates – or if you live alone, you’re likely feeling the impact of this temporary change in your day-to-day life. But, you don’t have to feel isolated. You have many options at your fingertips that connect you with friends, family, colleagues and others.
As we move into the coming weeks of our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are a few tips you can use to maximize your connection with the world around us – and to brighten some of the time you spend at home.
Call or text your friends and family.
Keep in touch with people you love. Make a point to reach out. Call or text. Whatever works to help you connect with those who matter most to you – especially those you might not see face-to-face as often as you want to.
Make video calls.
Show your face to personalize conversations with loved ones. Video calls add even more personal dimension to the calls you share with them. It’s a good alternative for face-to-face conversations in the same physical location. If your smartphone or tablet doesn’t provide you with this feature, you can use a variety of apps or free online tools that work over a computer.
Engage in group chats.
Use your smartphone, tablet or computer to connect with multiple friends at the same time. If you don’t already enjoy group chats, this can be a great way to connect, live, with multiple friends and/or family at once – especially if that’s something you’ll miss while pausing in-person gatherings. Depending on the make and model of your smartphone, this may be a feature that’s automatically available to you. If not, you can use a variety of apps or online resources for a virtual hangout.
Do things you enjoy at home.
Find ways to blow off steam that are safe and fun. Gaming is a great example of this. It’s exciting, competitive and full of opportunities to engage with friends and family who want to have fun, whether they’re in the same household or in separate locations. If gaming isn’t your thing, you can binge watch a series you’ve been meaning to catch up on and invite friends to watch from their homes at the same time. You can spend a little time on DIY around the house, cooking, playing an instrument, painting, writing, reading… Or, make fun videos to share with loved ones through social apps. Just choose something that lifts your spirits.
Remember to exercise.
Take healthy steps to reduce anxiety. If you have a wearable, you can track your exercise progress over the weeks you’re at home. And, you may be able to share it with friends who are tracking theirs. Many smartwatches and wearables allow you to share and compete with friends and family who are also counting steps and tracking healthy activities. It’s one more way you can stay connected in your day-to-day with others who care about health and vitality.
Make time to relax.
Reduce stress through activities that let you unplug and relax. The news, social media and all of the tech we use is wonderful for keeping us informed and in touch with the world around us. But, be sure to also give yourself a break from it, periodically. Carve out a little time for a mental break from it all, whether you meditate, try yoga, do a crossword or just sit quietly outside. Giving yourself a mental and emotional “reset” can be a great way to keep stress from building up and overwhelming you.
The days ahead won’t be easy. But, they will be full of opportunities to stay connected while you’re at home.
And, while a lot of what we’re all facing right now is beyond your control, remember, one thing definitely is: Your perspective.
So, focus on what you can do. Stay connected. And, above all, stay positive.
We’re all in this together.
This article was written by Amanda L. Ray, an AT&T employee and a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are her own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.
If you’re an AT&T customer, you can find account support information related to COVID–19 here.