Hey there! My name is JC Caramillo and I am currently a candidate for a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Disability Studies – it’s a long title, I know. Last academic year, I was working with Health Promotion as a placement student and I’ll be returning as a Health Promotion Team Leader for the current academic year. I’m ecstatic to be providing my knowledge and wisdom with you, especially since this will my final year at Carleton University!
The difficulties of maintaining social wellness during a pandemic are experienced by everyone. The transition from seeing our peers and friends on a daily basis in face-to-face interactions to seeing them less frequently through online platforms creates strain in our relationships with them. Despite this, there are ways to maintain social wellness while maintaining physical and social distancing.
Firstly, with the push towards online connectedness, online platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, FaceTime and Zoom, among other platforms) allow us to maintain our social circles while protecting individual and public health. These online platforms allow us to have chats, coffee, and dinner with those that are close to us. Through personal experience, I’ve had many study dates and dinners through FaceTime with my partner, allowing us to share some laughs and stories along the way – with some internet connectivity issues, of course. Bring up the idea of having an online date with your partner or put aside some time to study with a friend to maintain your social relationship with them!
Next, with certain public health units in Ontario transitioning to different levels within the COVID-19 Response Framework, some forms of face-to-face interactions are allowed. If your public health unit is within the levels that allow for in-person interactions, be sure to wear your mask and maintain social distancing if you choose to see your friends and family in person. Even with restrictions opening up in certain zones, it is in good practice to maintain masking and distancing, as well as maintaining a tight social circle. Make sure to keep track of which level your public health unit is in by using the provided tool. If you are located in Ottawa, be sure to check out Ottawa Public Health for their resources.
Lastly, remember to take time for yourself during these times. Although our social lives have suffered during this pandemic, try not to overcompensate and ensure you’ve given enough attention to yourself. Self-care methods can involve putting in a pair of earphones and taking a walk, making a nice dinner for yourself (and those in your household), lighting a candle and taking a bath, or settling down with a new book, among other methods.
This social disconnectedness isn’t just happening to you, it’s happening to everyone. With this in mind, it’s important to utilize online platforms to maintain your social connections while ensuring that you take time for yourself. Don’t forget to stay up to date by checking your regional COVID-19 guidelines and policies.
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