I am firmly in support of physical social distancing during these challenging times where we, together, are fighting the rapid spread of COVID-19. Aside from my husband, the grocery store cashier, and my two dogs (who are totally people!), I haven’t come within 6 feet of anyone in over 2 weeks. Even when delivering groceries to family and neighbors who are at higher risk, I leave them on the front step and call to let them know they are there.
Yet, here’s a shocker: I feel more connected now than ever! OK, part of this may be that I’m an extreme introvert. I love interacting people – I set up my business so that I see up to 10 one-to-one clients on a daily basis, after all! But at the end of the day, being alone is what recharges me. So, during this time, I can appreciate more alone time, but also have more energy to put into meaningful and intentional connection. I fully recognize that I am lucky in this time. However, I have also made MANY efforts to stay connected, and I want to share so you can do the same.
I have several video calls every day with clients (and believe it or not, many of them are making even more progress to their health goals than ever!), and that one-to-one connection certainly helps. But I’ve also been making more of an effort to have one-to-one conversations via social media, call friends that I haven’t spoken to in months (or even years!) as I go on daily walks outside, and check in with my family members far more than usual. Plus, I’m collaborating with other business owners to see how we can help each other out and make sure that we’re all managing in this difficult time. In a more abstract way, I’m working to consciously feel the collective humanity of all of our efforts to slow the spread of this disease, and even feeling a deep connection to nature as I spend more time outside. So, truly, I feel more connected than ever.
The importance of virtual connection during social isolation
Did you know that feeling socially isolated or lonely can lead to serious and measurable negative consequences? Feeling socially disconnected leads to lower levels of self-reported physical health. To take it a step further, this meta-analysis showed that those who were socially isolated had a 29% increased risk of mortality from all causes during the study times. Loneliness has also been linked to poorer cognitive performance, substance abuse, depressive symptoms, decreased sleep quality, and diminished willpower to eat healthily and exercise.
Feeling lonely is even linked to depressed immune system function – something that none of us need right now!
So at this time, when close physical connection isn’t possible, it’s even more important to tap into feelings of social connection. Thankfully, technology makes this more possible than ever. Below, I’ll offer one suggestion that I know will help you feel connected to a positive, powerful group of people, and several other suggestions that can help, too. Whatever form this takes for you, please do yourself the favor of remaining connected during this challenging time!
The #1 way to connect during social isolation
The BEST way I can think of is to join a passionate, encouraging, and supportive group of like-minded people who are also working on their own health and happiness. Every time (10 and counting!) that I have run my 10-Day Reset programs, I am awe-struck by the community support, daily interaction, and burgeoning sense of positivity that these amazing people create. They’re inspiring to ME – and I’m in the inspiration business!
Good news: my 10-Day Reset signups are OPEN. The Reset starts next Monday, April 6th, but our prep call takes place this Friday, 4/3, at 2pm CT. You WON’T want to miss this – it’s a great way to get to know your fellow participants and prepare yourself for the awesome journey to come.
What is the Reset? Well, usually, it’s a positive group coaching experience that helps participants reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods for 10 days, and increase healthy behaviors like eating more vegetables and prioritizing self-care. But this time, I’m taking it to the next level. In fact, I’m calling it the 10-Day POP Reset … because the focus, even more than inflammation, is going to be Positivity, Overall Health, and Personal Connection.
What’s different this time?
You’ll still get ALL the goodness of a regular Reset … a 20-page health handbook that gives you tips and tricks to prioritize your health, dozens of delicious and healthy recipes, and so much more. But, this time, you also get:
- 11 group coaching videos, with me giving my best health tips & tricks, answering any and all questions, and bringing you a dose of daily positivity and motivation
- A “choose your own adventure” style health program, asking you to commit to at least one health behavior, then adding on as you feel comfortable
- Live-stream opportunities for connection, including a virtual mocktail or cocktail hour, live streaming group workouts, live streaming meditations, and more!
- The option for an accountability buddy to cheer you along on your Reset
- A “Pay What You Can” option. Look – I know this is a hard time for all of us. If it’s financially infeasible for you to pay the full fee or to pay anything at all, no problem. Be my guest anyway. I truly want to help you through this tough time!
POP Reset isn’t for you? Here are other ways to feel socially connected
- Live stream workouts. There are SO many options out there! The gym I teach at, Grit Fitness, is offering a virtual membership for $49 / month, and it’s so fun to see and chat with the others working out alongside you! If you’re looking for more of a bootcamp-style workout, try Meredith Boyd’s Camp Gladiator Zoom-based workouts here – Choose Dallas, TX 75205 and Meredith Boyd as your preferred trainer.
- Virtual happy hours. Missing your regular social groups? Schedule a virtual happy hour and pretend you were all sitting around a table together while catching up!
- Virtual wellness classes. For a company, organization, or social group who wants to prioritize the health, productivity, immunity, and emotional balance of its employees or members, my virtual wellness classes are a perfect option!
- FaceTime or call a friend. Easy breezy – the simplest way to connect!
- Text someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. At this time, all the awkwardness of “we haven’t spoken in a while…” has been completely removed. Feel free to reach out – they’ll appreciate it, too!
- Make a connected list. Just see #2 in this post.
- Step into nature and feel connected to a deeper purpose. Near, far, any race, gender, background … we’re all staring up at that same blue sky, and that’s a beautiful thing.
- Go for a walk. I see SO many people each time I walk in my neighborhood! I cross to the opposite side of the street to practice appropriate physical social distancing, but even a simple smile is so nice!
- Get more help. This is a tough time. If you need to talk to someone – please do. A therapist, a coach, a parent, a friend – whatever you need. Did you know that, especially at this time, I talk to most of my clients far more about emotions, behavior change, mental obstacles, family dynamics, stress management, self-care, and more … than actual nutrition basics? I’d love to discuss my coaching options with you and see if I’m the right fit to help you out.
Now it’s your turn … How are you doing with social distancing? What’s your favorite way to connect virtually during physical social distancing?
I’m doing great. I take ONE DAY at a time. If i start thinking that I am going to be “stuck” inside my house for 4-8 more weeks, I feel depressed. But, if I think abut what I’m going to accomplish TODAY, it’s exciting.
I have “found” time to exercise and walk outside, read, clean/declutter, pray for those effected and those so courageously helping (Drs, nurses, first responders etc), and I make one call/text/email each day to someone I haven’t talked to in a while. You’re SO RIGHT, Megan, when you say that it takes all the embarrassment or guilt out of why it’s been so long.
Honestly, I find that I’m VERY busy everyday and wonder how time is going so fast.
OK – I’d be totally lying if I didn’t say I miss Pickleball alot , the competition and the social/friends in the game. But I think Zoom parties might help some of that.
So…………….like I said in the beginning……….I’m doing great.
I’m so glad you’re finding time to accomplish things that are making you happier and healthier and more connected in the long term! You ARE doing great!