How to Combat the Struggle of Social Distancing

At this point in time, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the lives of almost everyone in the world. Spreading city to city and country to country, the virus is taking over and so is the method for controlling it: social distancing. Social distancing is a phrase that has come to define these trying times for the majority of the people in the world. It means keeping the space between yourself and other people outside of your home. Guidelines from The United States government are to stay at least 2 meters or 6 feet away from others, which means all types of gatherings, large or small, should be avoided. What does that mean for us? For the Babson community, it meant that all students must return home and that professors to pack up their things.

Courtesy of the Babson College Instagram

One of the most amazing aspects of Babson’s education are the small class sizes that cause every class to be intimate and the strong relationships that form as a result. Now, we are struggling to maintain even a shred of that through virtual classes. In terms of salvaging what is left of our education for this semester, there are a few things we can do depending on our situation. If you have your own room or any space with obstructed view and sound make the most of it. Put up a sign that says in a meeting or in class. Pull out those noise-canceling headphones or earplugs and find some calming piano to drown out any noises. Now that we are coming up on a month of online classes it may start to get very repetitive to see the same rooms and lay on the same chairs and walk the oh so familiar walk to the kitchen for a snack.

Here are a few ideas of what you can do to curb that boredom:

With all gyms and fitness centers shut down to help prevent the spread of the virus it is easier than ever to sit around all day and think of every excuse for why you aren’t staying active. People who are able to go outside and take a hike or go for a run are fortunate to have all the space and fresh air to motivate them to get their blood pumping. However, even if you are stuck inside there are plenty of home workout options to help you stay active. One of the most popular is Instagram Live classes, fitness accounts like @womanshealthmag and @menshealthmag have 15 to 30-minute sessions twice a day that require little to no equipment. There are virtual fitness companies such as Wellbeats that offer over 400 free classes that cater to people of every age and fitness level. They also channels dedicated to nutrition and mental health and wellness to help guide people who are feeling lost during these confusing times.

Surely no one needs to be reminded of all that YouTube, Netflix and Instagram have to offer, however, too much of this feel-good entertainment leaves the mind yearning for something more fulfilling. This is the time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read but couldn’t find the time to. With Babson being a business school that is so highly oriented towards putting out successful entrepreneurs and business professionals, we are prone to overlook the importance of reading literature simply for the sake of expanding our minds. After going through whatever you have in your home you can order books online or explore ebook options. If reading isn’t your thing, try listening to new music. Venture out of the genre you usually stick to and find a new artist whose music speaks to you. For some people, music has the power to bring out deeply embedded emotions and let you really feel your feelings. So instead of numbing yourself by scrolling through social media, try putting your go-to playlist in the back seat and letting a new artist or genre take the wheel. You can even try to learn to play an instrument and make your own music.

Arts and crafts can also be extremely therapeutic for some people. Pulling the watercolor palette or acrylics out of the closet and digging up some brushes could give you the opportunity to express yourself in a way you normally wouldn’t. Try your hand at DIYs all over the internet, rip up a pair of jeans or make your own candles. Another thing you could do with all the downtime is to update the family photo gallery. Go into the archives and pull out some neglected pictures. Shutterfly has great photo printing and personalization options that can be delivered right to your door. If you are struggling with feeling separated from your friends and extended family having pictures of them can help. You can also surprise them by ordering a set of pictures to be delivered to them!

With all of the anxiety and uncertainty about how everything around us seems to be falling apart the necessity of being aware of our mental health is more important than ever. Some people very much enjoy being mindful through meditation or journaling or other methods of self-reflection that to others can seem unnecessary or even banal. In these trying times, simply being aware of the state of your mental health can be very beneficial. While the news and social media is full of government officials and celebrities making statements about how we are all in this together, at the end of the day your own health and wellness should come first. Some of us are worried about our immune-compromised family members, or those working in hospitals, or law enforcement… we need to be strong for them. We need to be strong for ourselves.

Article by Lada Peshkovsky

The views expressed herein are attributed to their authors and not to this publication nor Babson College. The materials appearing in this publication are for information purposes only.