6 Ways to Stay Positive While Social Distancing
Quarantined, socially distanced, and feeling blue? Here's some ways to keep up your positive emotions even while stuck inside, without many of the things we normally enjoy.
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After spending the last couple of years trying to figure out how we can have better relationships with our phones and devices to write my book, Outsmart Your Smartphone, I felt ready and able to use technology to connect while being asked to socially distance during the Covid pandemic. Here are some strategies from the book that can help you stay positive and connected even while socially distancing.
1. Write gratitude texts and emails
When we express gratitude, we improve the strength of our social connections and we find more meaning and satisfaction in life. And luckily gratitude can be shared just as easily via text and email as in real life.
The easiest way to get started with gratitude is by writing short gratitude messages to the people you know. It could be something they did for you, or it could be something about them.
2. Joining a mission-oriented group online
When we do things for others, we can boost our happiness. And luckily, we can now do this online—for example, by helping a political candidate, addressing an important social problem, raising money for an important cause, or starting a purpose-driven business. Joining one of these mission-oriented groups can be a great way to get started making a difference, even when you're trapped at home.
3. Savor positive moments while surfing online
There are so many positive moments that might just pass us by when we're cruising the internet. When we stop for a moment to savor and appreciate these moments, we can make them last longer. So, as you are surfing the internet, pay attention anytime you experience something positive.
Maybe your friend shares a video that makes you laugh. Or maybe you read an article that teaches you something useful. Then take a moment to savor.
4. Actively engage with your social media community
People who use Facebook more actively (e.g., liking, commenting, and posting) tend to have lower levels of depression. People who engage in more passive Facebook use (e.g., scrolling without interacting with others) tend to have more symptoms of depression.
Certain ways of engaging with others online may be good for us, perhaps because they involve social connection rather than social comparison. By reaching out to others, engaging in meaningful social interactions, and strengthening social bonds, we can likely improve your well-being with technology tools.
5. Learn new goals and habits
Technology has given us access to lots of health and wellness resources, making it easier than ever to build and practice skills like gratitude, mindfulness, and emotion regulation online. You can now use apps to do everything from tracking your mood to practicing therapeutic breathing to building resilience.
6. Practice kindness
When you view something you like online, take a moment to leave a kind note for the person who created it or shared it. Say something genuine and from your heart. Believe me, the other person will really appreciate it and you'll leave feeling a little boost of happiness.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.