Staying Social During Social Distancing

Reviewed May 7, 2020

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Hello everyone and welcome, welcome. My name is James Francis, and I will be today's presenter. Thank you all for joining me today. I appreciate your time. And even though we're not face-to-face, unfortunately, I truly anticipate this to be a conversation and certainly not a lecture. We have a large group of wonderful opportunities and feedback and opinions. So please I'm looking forward to having a conversation and not a lecture. So I encourage you all to ask questions, share stories, engage and exchange in ideas. That's exactly why we're here today. You can do that by using your chat function. You could send it to myself directly, the host, James Francis, or if you're comfortable sending it to all participants and the entire group, I encourage you to do so as well.

So we are now all facing different times and we are in a new climate, the COVID-19 pandemic. And I enjoy this photo. I love this photo as it illustrates a few things. First, it shows a sense of optimism. The expressions on each of their faces can certainly be contagious and lead to a more positive outlook to others who may be engaging with them. And that's important, that's important. This photo may be a work meeting, it may be social meeting, who knows? Because I know when I'm having my work meetings, my wife certainly does this to me. So you never know. But I love the expression, I love that. They definitely seem to have the glass half full mentality and that's exactly what we're looking for, that is exactly what we're looking for.

Once again, it's my pleasure to be able to discuss the topic that it's becoming extremely vital these days as the pandemic continue. And although I remain extremely optimistic, no one knows when it will "end" or how things will change moving forward, moving forward. So let's begin by sharing one of my favorite quotes and it reads, "I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it." That's a very big difference, going through changes, but still being optimistic and not being reduced by the change. This is how I've adapted so far. And it's important to go through certain changes and have certain capability to adapt as it becomes your new mentality. And that should the goal. That should be the goal to allow this to become your new mentality. So we're here to discuss staying social while social distancing.

I want to change a word here. I want to change a word, that's social, because actually I feel we're practicing physical distancing and not all social, and not all social. And that's the big difference, that is a big difference. And remaining social during this physical distancing, it can happen, it can happen. And it's important to note that isolation and loneliness are also health problems and concerns. They can lead to anxiety, depression, which will lead to job loss. And we're going to speak about working remote and staying social. These are all the things that are in the current climate. So it is important to remember that isolation and loneliness can increase your health problems. We must begin with the honest assessment of ourselves. Where do you stand? What are our fears, our anxieties, our concerns currently because you're not alone, you're not alone? And sometimes we may go through things in which we feel we are the only person going through this situation, not this time around, not this time around.

So for some, remaining social during this climate is not difficult, but for others it may certainly be an uphill battle. It may certainly be an uphill battle, but that's fine. That is fine. And as we must challenge ourselves to adapt, to create new habits, and once again, the ability to adapt to change, the ability to adapt to change, I always said I encourage feedback, well, here's where it certainly starts. So instead of asking you how well you adapt to change, I have another question for you guys. When was the last change or challenge in which you faced in life that you actually embraced? What was the last change or challenge in your lives in which you actually embraced? Once again, please use the chat function. You can send it to me directly as your meeting host, or you can see it with the entire group, the last change in which you embraced.

While you guys are thinking, let me share mine. So around... I guess it's been a little more than a month now. Wow. My wife and I have been homeschooling our children. And I remember those first few days they were like no other. In no way, shape or form that I feel I would be able to make it consistently. But you know what? The light switch went on and after a few days it became a bit more routine. It became a bit more routine for myself and my wife. And at that point, I began to celebrate it, and it was important. So for me, the last challenge I faced that I embraced was teaching my daughters, homeschooling. So disclosure, I am a parent of twin nine-year-old girls. So that was the biggest challenge. But the first 48 hours, I certainly was not embracing it.

Okay. So some you guys have certainly responded, grad school, loss of job and finding a new job that provided better work-life balance, love that. Furlough, grad school. My oldest daughter graduated and left the college. One of the most exciting [inaudible 00:07:00] times of my life as a mother. Although my daughters are nine, I am not looking forward to that moment. So thank you for sharing. My son gets his driver's license, that's exciting times. Learning that I have a grown child with a disability, okay. Two years ago, my youngest got married, I became officially empty nester. Ability to run different times a day, working at home remotely. All of these changes in your life in which you embraced positively, positively because oftentimes we outlook in which we have when situation changes everything, it changes everything. Someone said their daughter is taking her master's in Japan, graduates, June 2021, amazing. My son graduated last year and joined the military, congratulations. Go and listen to your son. I had two older brothers in the military as well as my father in the military.

One of a few of our objectives of today, what is a social life versus social distancing and why are each important? We'll discuss some of the health benefits to having a better social life, a better social life, such as what do you guys think of a few health benefits of having a social life, a few health benefits? Before that, congratulations, someone bought a house that I never thought I can do on my own. Congratulations. Thankful for extra time at home with your dog. I'm sorry for your loss. Health benefits. Anyone think we have health benefits having a social life? I can tell you now, we absolutely do. And first, it is a relief of stress. Someone says, "Less depression, happier, live longer. Definitely, all of the above helps fight depression." Absolutely. And although we have never met with each and every one of us on this call, have a common bond. And that is stress, and that is stress.

So having a social life certainly helps us in more ways than one. Lower blood pressure by sharing... Excuse me, lower blood pressure by laughter and crying together. Enjoying a sharing experience and hearing other experiences. I want to go into that a bit later, but thank you all for sharing. And we'll also discuss different methods to stay in touch while also staying apart. And with all of these conversations and tips and techniques, please keep an open mind, keep an open mind and think outside the box. Think outside the box as we certainly do not want to isolate ourselves completely doing social distancing. That should not be the goal. It should not be turned into social isolation, big difference. Do not be afraid or panic and let's really work on continuing to communicate with others in various ways.

The goal of today's session is really discuss and provide practical information on best practices for yourselves. Because in times like this, we may forget the importance of just simply communicating and also self-care. We must not forget to take care of ourselves during this pandemic. And self-care and communication, they will come in various forms. It will come in various forms. What is a social life? To have a social life, means spending time with friends and family, or coming across opportunities in a certain place for one to socialize, networking, networking. That's what a social life means to me. As I teach networking courses, I have to remind people that every day is a networking opportunity, every day. So what does your social life look like? And this will vary. This will vary as we all have different stories. There are different variables in which we come across. What do we do with our free time? Where did we go in the past? How do we meet new people or even maintain contact with current friends and family, and current friends and family?

Now, I must ask you a question, I must ask you a question? And this is a very big difference between the two. Prior to the pandemic, prior to the changes and challenges that we're all facing, were you an introvert? Were you a person who prefers calm, who has minimally stimulating environment, that's your thing, or you're the opposite, or were you the outgoing, overly expressive person? And that really helps, or in your decision-making with being more social during these times. And for me, I slowly but surely I'm becoming more of an introvert as I get older, as my children began to get older. And it's an interesting dynamic. So for me, staying social has become a bit easier, staying social has become a bit easier. Someone says, "I'm an introverted extrovert. I enjoy being with my friend." I like that. I may take that from you.

I feel I'm certainly the same way, but for some it's certainly more difficult in this climate. And isolation starts to set in as well as the ability not to move as freely as we may like. And these are all normal feelings. These are all normal feelings that it's important to know you are certainly not alone. So why is having a social life important? We discussed a few things as far as health-related, but certainly people who maintain a good social life tend to be happier and less stressed. So in these trying times, it is of the utmost importance to remain as social as possible, remain as social as possible because now that social distancing can cause anxiety as we stated, as some mentioned, certainly depression, because it's a disruption, excuse me, to our routine. We are creatures of habit, we are creatures of habit.

And someone said they are very much an extrovert, so having a hard time not being social during this time. Absolutely, absolutely. We are creatures of habit and routine. And when things are broken, it usually causes our stress and anxiety to go up and also simply a fear of the pandemic, the pandemic itself. This has certainly provided more time for myself and I'm sure others to think about certain things and this can be positive and negative. I tend to overthink, I tend to overthink. Myself, I am a native of New York City. I'm born and raised. I'm currently residing right outside the city. And a month or so ago when the news began to be consumed with COVID-19 coverage, at that point, I became consumed with the news and media coverage. And I began to feel anxious, did not really recognize it, that really recognize it.

So it's important to unplug at times and give yourselves a news or media break, that is important as well. And it really helps me, it really helps me. I would sit there and watch it nauseam as if every five minutes a new issue or story would break. Someone says, "Whoa, I just had a 600-pound black bear at my back door. Social distancing, wow." And I'm glad you're safely in your home able to listen and share that with us. That's amazing, that is amazing. Stay safe, my goodness. So having people to talk to when you had a tough day or something even good that has happened to you and you would like to share, this is something and which we can all do. We can all do in some forms. It may not be face-to-face, maybe a bit different. But communication is still so important. It's so important.

And by this, I don't want to simply mean speaking. The art of communicating is not only the ability to speak, but to listen to others. And I found throughout my years that listening to others also helps me with my tougher times. Listening. So being able to communicate with others during this time is of the utmost importance and you can remain and continue that part of your social life during these times. Someone says, "Where does that person live?" I was going to ask that. For a 600-pound bear, where do you live while this has happening? And I'll get right back to that. So having friends also keeps your brain healthy. It keeps your brain healthy. I always say, "If I'm the smartest person in the room, I'm in the wrong room. I'm in the wrong room. I need to consistently be mentally challenged and stimulated, and stimulated."

They live in Burlington, Connecticut. Wow. Okay, so having friends keeps your brain healthy. For me, I'm going to challenge each and every one of you. There are nearly 200 people on this call. I'm going to challenge each and every one of you. I'll give you a few days. In next few days, you'll do your list of contacts via email and your phone. It certainly may be a good time to check on your friends and family members well-being. And randomly, not the people you speak with every day, some of which you may have lost contact with through time, through distance. And this will help you feel more connected, more social and engaged as well, and even healthier, even healthier. I've reached out to many old friends and family members whom I haven't connected with recently, and it's been great. It has been great.

I've had long conversations. My daughters have made new friends through friends' children that I haven't spoken with. And I'm able to have another outlet to express my feelings and express my thoughts to. Now, think about that. Think about how important that can be, not only to yourself, but possibly to the other party involved. It's extremely important. So I'm going to challenge you all to do that. I've reached out and contacted an old football buddy of mine from yesteryear. And a few weeks ago, he had mentioned that he had obtained the coronavirus. He had since then beat it, returned home and recovered 100%. And we both made a promise to ourselves, we will never allow so much time to pass again. Because honestly, you just never know, you never know.

Someone says, "Even connect with friends you haven't talked to since Christmas, found out that friend of ours sold their house." Absolutely, absolutely. Reach out, once again, go through your contacts and pick a few people to reach out to, pick a few people to reach out to. Someone says, "I've created a full album of Facebook, which on a daily basis I post a picture of me and a friend or family member with a positive statement of that person." Oh, that's great. That is a wonderful idea. I may start to do that on my social media as well, a wonderful idea. Because things like that, they spread like wildfire. They spread like wildfire. Someone says they love that idea. So you're thinking outside the box. You're certainly thinking outside the box because we all understand that life happens and it certainly does. It certainly does good, bad, and indifferent. But the effort must begin with that person that you're staring at in the mirror. That's ourselves, that is ourselves. We must begin to decide and take that first step forward to change things, to change things.

And what is social distancing? It's a change of behavior that can stop the spread of infection. Basically, it's the effort to reduce the rate of contact with other people or the public unless absolutely necessary. I mentioned I'm a native of New York City and the pandemic has struck us extremely hard, extremely hard in the tristate area. So I really take these things to heart, and I know that I am proof that it works. Okay, that it works. And for all of us who are practicing social distancing, become proud of yourself. You're doing a wonderful thing by following guidelines and help flatten the curve. You truly are. So some of the examples of distancing include working from home instead of heading into the office, instead of heading into the office.

I have a question, what has been the toughest challenge for you guys while working from home? For those who work remotely full-time, what has been the toughest challenge so far? For me, it's the balance of wanting to be alone while working and on the flip side helping my children. That's been the toughest challenge for me and having that balance and knowing when to go back and forth, kids, staying connected with peers, balancing home and work life. Let's scroll up here. Being alone at home, the blurred boundaries. I love that one. Being connected with peers, being alone, being able to socialize with my coworkers. I'm constantly checking in with them and talking to them. I'm going to come into that new routine as well. Establishing more routines. Absolutely.

Being expected to work full-time and teach. I'm going to add full-time to that because teaching is a full-time job, and I respect all educators out there. Focusing on work and trying to swap in the relaxation mind frame since there's no separation from work and home anymore. Also, trying to keep my daughter focus as well. Not feeling like I'm able to support the office and disciplining routine, finding motivation while being alone. And all of these things are huge challenges. And as I read them aloud... I want to read each and every one of them because I'm sure they're crossing the lines amongst your other friends and colleagues. And a lot of these things we will discuss. We certainly will discuss.

Other ways to social distance. Visiting loved one via Skype, FaceTime, other methods instead of in-person, holding online class instead of school, canceling large meeting and conferences, canceling or postponing sporting events, concert, other large events, and also closing on or avoiding restaurants, bars and any other nonessential public places. And sometimes you're not fully aware of how difficult some tasks can become. These can become difficult tasks. So as much as you can, maintain a healthy routine, maintain a healthy routine. And with that, someone says, "Routine has been turned on its head. I used to be able to pick up my days and set up meetings, now I find I'm able to tie to my desk longer."

Now, we must not disrupt certain routines by this. And meaning our sleep/wake cycle, our daily activities, even our work hours, even our work hours, if you're able, to go for a walk, exercise at home. Enjoy nature as much as possible is possible. For me personally, they're short, brief stints but that's fine. Getting fresh air those few minutes, they work tremendously for me, they work tremendously for me. I do not want to skip any of these. As an older person, big challenge I have is having a young adult living at home who wants to socialize with his friend and doesn't realize that behavioral changes that requires of him to avoid increase the risk of me and my husband getting sick.

And I think you should certainly have a conversation with him in a relative conversation and try to attempt to speak with him and not at him. I think that may be a real difference. I would love to share certain stories. A few weeks back and thank goodness the curve has flattened somewhat here in New York, two weeks in a row every day, either person I know was hospitalized or it affected a close friend of mine. So having that conversation, he or she may understand 100%, no. But hopefully, they begin to see a bit better where you're coming from. Someone says, "I just cannot get up in the morning like I used to. I used to get up and read and work out before work." We must create that new routine for ourselves.

I'm going to give you examples of that. So I mentioned North of New York City, but my wife worked in Midtown Manhattan. And she would get up every day at 5:30 AM. So now, her body still consistently wakes up. I said, "You know what? Let's create a new routine for yourself. A new healthy routine for yourself." Not getting up, drinking three cups of coffee, no. You must be productive. If you know you're still waking up and your body's used to that muscle memory, be productive, do something you enjoy. And her thing and now she'll read a book. She's now into these cooking shows, which I love. Those are her new things. And she can exercise more in the morning being that her working routine have staggered or has stopped at a screeching halt. So creating that new routine for yourself will be challenging. But after a certain amount of time, these practices will become more habitual. They certainly will become more habitual.

So I mentioned these things about why is social distancing so important. Why is it really so important? Now, it varies. I mentioned that we're also slowing and stopping down the spread of the infection. And you have to remember, as your colleagues mentioned, other people are at higher risk than some, That goes with the elderly, it goes with those who have compromised immune systems and also other underlining health problems. I certainly fall into that. Personally, I've been a type 1 diabetic one and half of my life, one and a half my life. So I'm extremely cautious with this and by distancing ourselves, mothers, especially those in high risk, you doing your part. And I mentioned we are certainly all doing our part. And remember, people can be asymptomatic, showing no symptoms at all. You can be feeling fine, not experiencing anything at all, but still be a carrier of the COVID-19. And with that, become a potential threat to others.

So attempt to make social distancing a positive, make it a positive by trying to take time and focus more on personal goals, whether they are health-related, whether they're new habits or reassessing old habits, reassessing old habits. So, for myself, my new thing now, I am going online to take a refresher class to speak Italian. And I spoke Italian, I took Italian in the highest school. I furthered it up and studied Italian in college. That was many years ago. But that has been my new thing. I want to freshen up on my Italian so it becomes more fluid. So when my wife and I go to Italy, it would be good to go and not wait. So that's been one of the personal goals for myself. And it allows me to spend my time more positively. The idle time, it allows my brain to continue. So that's a positive thing that I'm taking on during this time.

Any new things or ideas or strategies you guys are trying in these times? Have you guys ever thought about that so far? Are you doing anything new that maybe you've done in the past or you've thought about it in these last few weeks to take up? More exercise, good for you. Knowing, good. Mind is definitely learning... well, relearning Italian and cooking. I like to cook, but any new strategies and techniques. Tackling a big yard project that I've been wanting to do for years, it is time. Animal rescue. I'm trying to convince my wife to do the same. I want a dog, and it's the perfect time to train them. I'm going to walk during my lunch. I thought of writing a blog that I have, amazing. Learning to play a guitar with my son and reading more books for pleasure. Honing our counseling skills, crocheting, and reorg the house. Looking two pregnant stray cats, amazing, two new litters. You have your hands full. Riding my bike much more because I cannot get to the gym. Hiking, gardening, online courses, all are wonderful things.

And all of these things are positives from this time. They're all positive from this time. Going through old photos. I learned to bake. I've also always wanted to learn, nice. Painted the house. I cannot stand painting, so good for you. During this pandemic, I learned I needed... Excuse me, I need to have a knee replacement, so losing 30 pounds is my new normal. Well, you know that could be a gift to you, that could be certainly a gift, especially in the long run. So attempt to think big picture with that, think big picture. Health benefit, being social add years to your life as loneliness and isolation can lead to shortened lifespan, excuse me, can lead to a shortened lifespan. So we speak towards our mental health. Mental health should be as equal as we perceive our physical health to be.

So let's not ignore that portion of the COVID19 pandemic. You must stay social in that regard. And pardon me, even meal prepping, the smaller things, attempt to meal prep as we should keep our self-care, first and foremost. And I always relate this to a theory called The Oxygen Mask Theory as we all have many hats to wear in our lives. But we're no good to anyone else if we're unhealthy. So even with the benefits, try to create that meal prep, eating more fruits, more vegetables if you were not previously doing so. And let's not allow the anxiety of COVID-19 or being less social lead to binge eating or other unhealthy habits. Because having a social life, it also boost... excuse me, boost our immune system mentally and physically, and physically. So as I mentioned, the meal prepping, etc., increases our sense of belonging and purpose, and purpose.

But first, I want to read, someone says, "A daily group text conversation with family that is spread around the country." I have one of those as well. I probably have around... oh, my goodness, six or seven group chats. But they're great, they're great. Do I have to turn the alert off? Yes, as they become very chatty and long-winded sometimes. But it's a wonderful thing, it's a wonderful thing. So increasing your sense of belonging and purpose, let's speak about purpose. Reach out to others. Offer your help and support in this time. And this social distancing time should be a time to reinvest and recreate social bonds, helping those at risk. Maybe those who can only move around minimally, the elderly, the disabled, veterans, those who are in shelters. You will certainly find someone in your area who need help. You will not look too far to find someone who needs help in your area, regardless of where you are.

And this can be done via phone, online services and activities, or even simply donating things in your home that you may not really need anymore. And you'll be surprised, you'll be surprised when you go through things that you just simply know, "I'll never wear this again. It's been here for three years. I haven't won in three years," or for me, my children's things they're growing out of them, I feel like every week, and I am donating to those in which who truly need at this time. And it feels great. It feels great. Someone says, "I started a daily yoga class virtually with my sister and my daughter in Atlanta. And also, we fast together for two days of the week." Amazing. And you're staying connected, you are staying connected.

And lastly, being happy and social simply reduces stress. And we've discussed that also. And helps you deal with traumas such as certain life events, good and bad, good and bad. The ability to share the positive truly helps. Share the positive thing, even the smallest of things help. I'm going to celebrate everything, because when the negative happens, it's more difficult to have that uphill battle. So there's multiple health benefits by staying social. And how will we do so? How will we do so? Social media, online live events, phone calls and text messaging, video chats, online gaming, virtual watch parties.

And when we read these, do not view them as some may be intimidating, some may be intimidating, or maybe that feeling of, "I'm completely uninterested in any of these." Remember, you got open mind because minor change can create major influence down the line. And a lot of these positive changes, they can surely help you way past when this is over. It can certainly continue to be a positive thing with your friends and your families. So let's begin with social media. Let's begin with social media. Someone says, "Book a group with Zoom meeting and bring your own wine." Absolutely, absolutely, with limitations of course, in a healthy way, in a healthy way.

Let's start with social media. They are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content, or to participate in social networking, from Facebook to Twitter, to Instagram and Snapchat. Myself personally, I am super involved in social media, super active, and I usually use it as a form of humor, sports pantser, etc. And for me, I love it. Well, we must also be careful. By using it too often, it can become overwhelming. See, consistent talk and news about COVID, I'm going to add something to this. Also, what app? I'm going to speak about that also. I'm going to add something to this. You must also be aware of the myths and misinformation that we may come across. I'm on social media and that simply becomes a more stressful environment and I see them every day. So be aware, be mindful of that when also on social media platform.

Online streaming events and using social media celebrities and many others are putting on live events for people to join, and it's working at an high level. Initially, I was a naysayer like "Ah, will be too interesting." As the days continue, the week go by, these have become amazing. A month or so ago, one of my favorite music DJs joined an unbelievable crowd, social media, word of mouth, and the audience grew from celebrities such as Oprah to current and past, white house officials. It was amazing, it was amazing. So using social media on live stream events, you'll be surprised what your favorite artists, musicians, authors, what they're doing on their social media streams because they understand the position that we're in, not only in this country, but globally. And we can host our own live stream event to these platforms.

An example, you can host a trivia night, dance parties, workout challenges. And some of your colleagues have mentioned, they hold exercise challenges with their friends and their children. That's the wonderful thing, that is a wonderful thing. Your other colleagues mentioned having a book group meeting over Zoom. And it's not about if you're the best dancer or if your downward dog is the best while practicing yoga, it's about remaining social, it's all about having fun. Simply go for it, go for it. And it's never a tough thing to laugh at ourselves. That's myself all the time. It's actually more healthy to do so. So challenge yourself with these things, and if you're not familiar with them, certainly look into them, certainly look into them.

The most common is always phone calls and text messaging. We've touched on these a bit earlier. Phone calls are great. We just need the comfort of being able to speak with someone who isn't in your home. Some free applications that we mentioned, Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, I'm going to add something on to this one, Marco Polo. Marco Polo is one of my favorite text messaging applications because it doesn't have to be in real time and it's a video chat. So I can leave a video message to my friends and family members and they can watch and return it at their leisure, at on their time. So it doesn't have to be an instant or full conversation. As we all understand that we have full lives, I may not be able to speak for 15 to 20 minutes in a row. But after I'm off this webinar, at 1:00 PM, I can certainly check my Marco Polo and return a video chat at that time. So Marco Polo is a great thing. Someone says, "Yes, it's really great." Absolutely, absolutely.

So use these technology skills to your advantage. Use them to your advantage during this time. And if you know or have family members who are not familiar or not comfortable with technology, take it upon yourself to teach them, to show them. Although it's frustrating sometimes teaching others who may be more stubborn, the big picture, the long run, it will help. It will help everyone because as soon as they get it, they understand that they can speak to their friends and loved ones fluently. It will be great, it will be great. Someone says, "I use Marco Polo daily with family and friends." As do I, as do I. My soon-to-be 91-year-old mother is doing awesome with her iPad. Now, that's impressive, that is impressive. For those who may not be tech savvy, 91-year-old mom doing great with her iPad, that is great that is great. Thank you for sharing.

And start now. Start now with all of these new strategies and techniques. There's no better time to do so. Video chats, it may be the best option for those who want to have that real-time and full virtual feel. Once again, FaceTime who have iPhones, Skype, Google Hangouts, Instagram, Zoom. And we can also host a private event with our closest friends while you have a virtual happy hour. I promise you, I have them five days a week with different groups of people, and I love it, and I love it because having casual conversation is great, but seeing expressions and seeing laughter, it is amazing, it is amazing.

My 84-year-old mom is enjoying video chat. Good for her. We celebrate our family members' birthday over Zoom with everyone in the family. That is wonderful, that is wonderful. And I'm also going to challenge you to do it internally, to do it internally. Take the initiative to start groups in live chat with your colleagues, with your colleagues. Check in with them. Actually, I have one this evening that we have every Thursday, or if not every other Thursday for our work happy hour. And they go for great, they go over well. So you'd be surprised. Someone says, "I love Zoom. We have family gatherings weekly... weekly, excuse me, and they help, and they help."

So it's always certain ways to reconnect. And even if you're thinking of like an after hour, happy hour with your friends, or your colleagues, it'll be a wonderful thing because it can be informal. It will be informal. So the stresses you may have of possibly speaking to a client, children in the background, with dogs barking, you no longer have to worry about. It's just informal to have a checkup with your colleagues. There's no true stress behind it. So think about that, think about that.

Online gaming. You not have to be an online "gamer" to enjoy, although I am. I've always found video games to be my getaway, so to speak. And my wife calls it man time, that's what she calls my gaming time. But she also knows that it helps, that it helps. When I'm home, I've had a tough day, tough week, etc., I go play games. And now, I have my daughters doing the same. So online games, try Jack in the Box games. Who knows? Now, Fortnight is free, my go-to is Monopoly. Monopoly will never get over my family. Mario, Words with Friends, even puzzles, and there are many more. There are many more free online games that you can do with yourself and your family members, yourself and your family members. So look into those.

Online gaming is how my 10-year-old has remained in contact with his friend from school. See, there you go. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. So for me, to do that, I've gotten my daughters to participate with me in my sporting games. And in turn, I'm dancing with them to pop songs with their games. But it's fun. It's all in fun. It's all to stay open and fluid in this time, but also allows us to create a further bond while at home during these times. Let me look into this. My family plays dominoes online. Wonderful, wonderful. And virtual watch parties. This has been the newest craze for sure where watching movies or TVs with friends, you can watch shows and movies together using various platforms. And it's pretty cool when you actually do it. I'm done in which I've shared screen. And we just have commentary and banter throughout. And I've usually tried to do it with older, classic movies, though classics in which I loved. And it's extremely cool, extremely cool.

You can keep it more low tech by just hopping on a phone call. Maybe counting down on your Netflix account, pressing play at the same time, or you can commonly share a TV show or movie. It's wonderful, it's wonderful thing. You can do this if you have Facebook or Instagram Live. Allow your friends to view, be like I said, I've done this with films in which I loved. It's been great. It's actually going much better than expected, it's much better than expected. Someone says, "I love NETFLIX PARTY. I watch with my daughters when they're home in their separate rooms on their dad's house." And it feels like you're still together, it feels like you're still together. And that's the entire point of this. That's the point of attempting to stay social during this time, because the small moments in which you can laugh and smile, they go a long way, they go along the way. And I certainly attempt to lean on those moments, every day, every day.

So having virtual parties, having Zoom meetings, having chats, believe it or not, a friend of mine had a "surprise zoom meeting." It was supposed to be only her and her best friend. Well, her best friend invited around 20 of us to join. So we all joined. Low and behold, on Saturday, during that party, our friend got engaged. In my head I'm like, "Wow, we are living in an entirely new world." But it came across great surprise Zoom engagement. So once again, think outside the box. And these things will work, these things will work. And for those who may not be as interested if your friends and colleagues may not be interested, try to find out what they're interested in. Be flexible. Be open-minded. Keep an open mind and challenge yourself, challenge yourself.

Are there any questions or comments you guys have, or any wonderful stories you want to share? Any questions or comments so far? Thank you all for sharing your questions and comments. I appreciate the feedback. Someone says, "One of my colleagues do a surprise Zoom birthday party, one of our other coworker yesterday." That's great. Everyone had a party scene background that was so fun. That's amazing. That is amazing. Thanks for a great idea. You're welcome. Mine is you could just look me up by my name, James Francis. Hold on, how do I teach the bears about social distancing? That I cannot help you with. Although, I live in the suburbs, I am the city guy, and I would run for the hills literally. Oh, my goodness. You're very welcome.

But before we get out of here, I want to really challenge yourselves to start today, to start today. And these new practices when becoming habitual and hopefully will last long after we beat this pandemic. Excuse me. And that's the key. Always attempt to think big picture, think the big picture. And I always like to remind people that so far, we all made it through every stressful situation we fought in our lives. So here we are, so here we are. So I really appreciate all of your time spent with me today. I'm wishing you all the best. So please continue to be safe and be well. So any other questions or comments before we leave here today? Oh, you're very welcome, you're very welcome. You stay safe as well. Okay, it's been my absolute pleasure to speak with all of you today. And once again, please be safe and stay well. And until we meet again, thank you all. Have a wonderful day.

 

 

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