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Social Distancing comes with social side effects – here is how to stay connected

Social Distancing comes with social side effects – here is how to stay connected

To fight the spread of coronavirus, government officials asked Americans to swallow a hard pill: Stay away from each other.

In times of societal stress, such a demand runs counter to what evolution has hard-wired people to do: Seek out and support each other as families, friends, and communities.

Priority number one is to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines to control the virus… But as with any pill, there are side effects. Psychological scientists at the University of Washington’s Center for the Science of Social Connection are seeking to help us understand the side effects of social distancing and suggest strategies for addressing them.

People who are lonely have higher levels of hormone cortisol (indicates stress), they show weaker immune responses and are at increased risk for premature death. Isolation can also impact mental health, leading to depression and other clinical conditions. For those in quarantine, this research has an important implication: Depriving the sick of social connection and physical closeness may make it harder for them to defeat the infection. There are other impacts as well which you can read more about on the link at the bottom of this page.

Now is the time then to reach out to friends and family and connect with them however you can. Let people know you care about them. Many people have begun these efforts and those who may have talked a few times a year, now talk every week. Not only could this connectedness improve individual chances of possibly staying healthy, but also allows you to talk about your feelings, feel less alone, and build closer relationships overall. There are other things you can do to boost your and other’s well-being as we are adapting to a world of social distancing. Many people are reaching out to those who are also not related to them at all through reading stories, making cards/notes, and sending videos of them singing or playing instruments.

To learn more please visit the original site of this article to gain more ways to stay connected and use all the resources we do have to adapt. While there is much uncertainty, there is certainty in the care and happiness we find connecting with others and the technology we may have taken advantage of before, can now maybe play a bigger role and bring us closer than ever.

Read the full article here

*Post included some original written statements added in with work directly from site by the source’s authors (Johnathan Kanter and Adam Kuczynski)