How to stay connected during lockdown
It's so important for our mental health to try and stay connected with others during lockdown. We asked our bloggers how they're keeping in touch with loved ones. Here's what they said.
Perhaps one of the toughest things about lockdown for many of us is not being able to see our friends or family. This can take a real toll on our mental health, so it’s important that we try to stay connected even if we can’t physically see people. We asked our bloggers what their tips are for staying connected during lockdown – here’s what they said.
Though this is a pretty obvious one, for older family members who may struggle to understand technology, this is a good way for them to be able to communicate - especially elderly relatives who may be isolated alone. It enables you to talk face-to-face which can feel more natural. Don’t forget: your loved ones probably want to see your faces as well!
- Honor, 18
My friends and I often video-call during the day. Since our teachers have given us online work, we decide to facetime and do all of our work together, helping each other out.
We also use video calls to chat about what we’re doing and keep each other company. One night, a couple of weeks ago, I was FaceTiming two of my friends and one of them put on music and all three of us had a sing-along like we used to do whenever we were together in real life.
- Kaitlyn, 15
Doing activities together online
I’ve started doing a weekly quiz with my friends over Zoom – this helps to boost my mood, keep me distracted and stay connected. It’s just an hour a week but it is something to look forward to in such difficult times.
There are so many other creative ways you can use video-calls. For example, how about watching Netflix with someone - not together in person but together by screen? I have done this a few times now and it works really well. Or how about a virtual dinner date? All you need is one of these platforms to make a live call. You then simply cook together via video, following the same steps, and you can enjoy your meal with someone!
- Rebecca, 20
Something that has worked for me and my friends is playing games online. This has allowed us to do fun activities together while also staying safe. It’s a useful way to escape from what’s going on and take your mind off of things even if it’s just for a few hours.
It doesn't have to be all long conversations!
The majority of us own smartphones, so why not put them to good use? Send a little message to your friend, family member, neighbour…Whoever you wish! A little message, just a “Keep safe,” or a “Hello, hope you are well,” really does go a long way. It emphasises that someone is thinking about you. Especially on a tough day, this is really needed - it makes you feel loved, valued and happy. I often call up and check on my grandparents. Just a simple ten-minute conversation and you can hear the happiness in their voice!
Celebrating happy occasions
Birthdays…This is a time when families/friends all unite and celebrate. Do not let the virus be a barrier! It is so simple to connect the family and friends together to celebrate. You can create a video-call group chat and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ over the phone!
I love video-calling my whole family - it’s so fun. For example, it was my cousin’s birthday this past weekend and we all video-called him and sung happy birthday. It was really great to be able to do that since we have struggled in the past to celebrate birthdays together as some of my family members live abroad.
If you want time to yourself, that's fine too
With everything that is currently happening, it feels that there is a higher demand to constantly talk to your friends and family, which can become exhausting. Communicate in your own time as poor communication is likely to cause more stress. Facing more than one challenge at a time can be overwhelming, so take a deep breath and do things on your terms if you need to.
Above all, let's be there for each other
Remember to look out for your friends who might be finding this time difficult and do your best to make sure they’re safe. We must try to lift each other up at the moment to ensure that we all get through this together - which we will.
Where to get help
If you are struggling with your mental health, or are worried about somebody else who is, take a look at our find help page for information, tips and suggestions of where you can get help.