25 March 2021

Recent research confirms that meaningful relationships influence our wellbeing, happiness...

2:00 Min

...and physical and mental health. But it is challenging to nurture friendships and camaraderie when gatherings are discouraged or prohibited. Here are three steps to stay connected in the era of social distancing.

Acknowledge big moments

Whether it’s a birthday, graduation, retirement, or an important achievement, reach out and let your friends and colleagues know you are thinking of them. “Social and relationship bonds are strengthened when we remember special occasions,” says Jenn Kennedy, a marriage and family counsellor. “This communicates that this person cares about you and holds important what you do,” she explains. Don’t let the virus be a barrier; pick up the phone or make a Zoom call today to spend quality time with the people who matter to you.

Uphold the circle of trust

If allowed by local government mandates, building a small “quaranteam” can be a safe way to spend time with your closest friends and colleagues in real life. Remember, for these “pandemic pods” to work, each person should act cautiously and be honest about their social interactions outside of the group. Hiding symptoms or lying about your behaviour could pose a severe risk to those you care about.

Accept the highs and lows

There will be times when conversations within your “support bubble” feel alive and thriving, nourished by common ground and shared experiences. Inevitably there will also be moments when the collective morale drops, and your conversation feels stale. If this is your situation, don’t despair; genuine camaraderie will outlast adversity. To help protect your friendships, here are six tips for building better relationships at work during lockdowns.