Developing Meaningful Connections While Practicing Social Distancing

A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses

Thank you West and Downtown Campus employees for your endless work this week as we establish how to continue to best serve our students and we move to a remote working environment. I realize this is a trying time for us all.

As we do our part to stay home in order to “flatten the curve,” and prevent the spread of COVID-19, be careful that social isolation does not take a toll on your and your family. Here are some tips for staying connected:

Video chat: The next best thing after a real face-to-face encounter, video chat will allow you to support meaningful connections with technology. If you know of someone who is technology-challenged, perhaps you can help them get set up so that they too can have these interactions. Set up a digital dinner with a loved one or meet virtually with friends to discuss a book, and you’ll find yourself feeling better afterward.

Take the time to be kind: Studies have also shown that being kind to others boosts our physical well-being and sense of purpose. Go for more than just a ‘like’ on social media. Take the time to write an email, a lengthier, more thoughtful message, and watch your relationships flourish.

Link into your community: You may opt to go out for a walk to distance yourself from the news and greet your neighbors from afar as you encounter them. These interactions, though a little different from the norm, still count as interactions. In addition, you can use technology. There are a number of apps, such as Nextdoor, and social media groups that allow people to stay connected and share news specific to their neighborhood. In addition, find digital support groups if you are struggling with a specific issue.

Share the love: Is there something you are good at you think other people would enjoy? Are you into fitness, for example? Then host a fitness class online and invite friends using meeting apps such as Zoom or Skype. Here, the benefits would extend beyond connection because you would also be giving the gift of health to others.

Go deeper or add more: There are essentially two ways to go here. You can either deepen the relationships you already have or broaden them by adding new friends and connections to your life. So, get in touch with a friend you haven’t been in touch with in a while or reach out to someone you know a little but would like to get to know better.

The coronavirus pandemic requires that we exercise discipline and maintain distance from one another. But times of crisis also bring out the innate human need to share and connect. We should all take advantage of this new opportunity to bond in the midst of adversity and use technology to our advantage and for the sake of our well-being.

2 Comments

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Thank you for considering ways to soothe the soul. It matters that we all take part in the community and self – even though via a new delivery method.

    AMMon, 23 Mar 2020 09:03:11 +0000Mon, 23 Mar 2020 09:03:11 +0000am20,9:03 am

  • April Montallana said:

    Thank you Dr. Williams for the uplifting message. Looking to stay connected with my Valencia family even though we have to be physically distant! Thinking of all of our amazing Valencia team during this time.

    PMTue, 24 Mar 2020 14:18:53 +0000Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:18:53 +0000pm20,2:18 pm

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