What You Need to Know About Social Distancing

by Bianca Garrison - March 30, 2020
Ilustration of man and woman having dinner while social distancing

By now, you’ve heard the advice and the mandates to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. With states across the country issuing stay at home orders to help control the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are wondering how to adjust to this new normal. Keep reading to learn how to handle social distancing. 

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is defined as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.” Congregate settings include crowded public spaces like shopping centers, movie theaters, and stadiums, according to the CDC

Can I Still Travel By Car?

According to a New York Times article, “Traveling longer distances by car is not advisable right now unless it is of a more urgent nature.”

Be sure to know your state’s rules and if you want to travel out of state, those of your destination, and any states you will be traveling through.

Going for a drive to get out of the house is ok. 

What About Visiting Grandma and Grandpa?

If your grandparents live in a nursing home, retirement community, or long-term care facility, the government is asking visitors to stay away.

How Do I Handle Social Distancing if I Have Anxiety?

The CDC is advising that people with pre-existing mental health conditions continue with their treatment. If you notice any new or worsening symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately. If you haven’t done so already, enroll in a telemedicine plan so that you can speak to a qualified healthcare professional anytime at home. 

Take deep breaths, or meditate. Try your best to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise daily, get plenty of rest, and avoid alcohol and drugs. 

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Can I Still Exercise Outside?

Yes, you can. Most experts recommend it. Getting fresh air and sunshine may boost your mood. You can hike or jog with friends as long as you keep a safe distance. 

I Can’t Be Around Friends, and I Can’t Work, What Should I Do?

Maintain those meaningful connections through video chats. Engage in useful tasks, including crossing off things on your to-do list, reading, or picking up a new hobby. Use sites like Pinterest and YouTube to find DIY projects, recipes, and more.

Indulge in Your Favorite Self-Care Routines

Meditate for a few minutes every day. Journaling, creating art, doing yoga, or setting candles beside your tub and enjoying a warm bath will all help you destress. If you don’t have a self-care routine, now is the time to develop one. And these tips are not just for the ladies! Men can, and should, engage in self-care too. 

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