These days, many of us are cut off from friends and family or drained from stress when we do get to interact. Try these suggestions to help bring back some of the joyfulness you may be missing from your interactions and a stronger sense of connectedness.
Meet for a local outing—it can be refreshing! Can you meet in the local park for a guided bird-watching walk, for example? Check your community calendar and follow mask-wearing and safe distancing recommendations.
Invite your friends to participate in a shared activity. Try a video chat while cooking or watching a TV series, for example. Or invite them to compete in a challenge like pledging to walk to raise money for a charity. You might even post the results on a group Facebook page.
Share a happy remembrance. Texting or emailing a picture of that fun party you both attended or of a heartwarming celebration can help spark warm feelings. Or write out the “remember this?” details in a card to send via snail mail or read over the phone to an elderly loved one.
Interview a friend or loved one. Talk to grandma about her yummy recipes and jot them down! Ask your friend about their most interesting job or find out about Dad’s favorite music from his youth. This can help sharpen your listening skills and avoid draining conversation loops.
Remember to make eye contact. Whether in person or virtually, studies show that even a few minutes of eye contact has the potential to release oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
If you’re feeling isolated and struggling with loneliness, reach out to a licensed professional counselor for support.