group teen 23 opt

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.

Video calls

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

A little message, just a “Keep safe,” or a “Hello, hope you are well,” really does go a long way.

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.

- Honor

Social media

Social media is a controversial one, as of course many people say being exposed to negativity on social media platforms can harm our mental health, self-esteem and confidence. However, in the current situation, I have personally found social media to be surprisingly beneficial. When having a ‘down’ moment, picking up my phone and scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, seeing a meme or a funny joke about what people are getting up to while stuck at home - it helps pass time, stay distracted and have a little giggle.

It is also a great way to stay updated on what people you care about are doing! Did you see the picture on Facebook of Aunt Pat’s Easter cake she made? Could that inspire you to go and bake? I think right now social media can create a sense of community – seeing everyone tweet with their stories, share their support, share kind messages…It brings us all together!

- Rebecca

This one is entirely up to you. I enjoy talking to my friends over social media as it offers easy communication that you can reply to in your own time. Even when I don’t feel like talking, I know I might have a message waiting to be opened when I feel ready. However, other people may find social media overwhelming. If you feel you need to, take a break.

- Honor

For more advice and tips on looking after your mental health on social media, check out our #OwnYourFeed campaign.

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!

- Rebecca

We must try to lift each other up at the moment to ensure that we all get through this together - which we will.

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!

- Rebecca

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.

- Kaitlyn

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.

- Honor

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.

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.

- Honor

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.

Back To Top