Community wellness is more relevant than ever due to the increased social isolation caused by quarantine restrictions. In person interactions are limited and when allowed they are different than before with smaller capacities and social distancing requirements. This presents a barrier to keeping and maintaining relationships as many former ways of interacting are no longer possible. Forming or creating new relationships seems daunting during the current climate, but having social bonds is extremely important, especially now. Isolation is a serious issue and working on maintaining your community wellness can help. Building or finding new communities to join can be done by searching through local online forums/groups, attending virtual events where interaction is possible, and reaching out to people in your classes. I know for me, texting is not something I am great at, and keeping lines of communication open that way is touch. Thankfully, video chatting is easier than ever and scheduling board game nights with my family helps to maintain a sense of connection to them despite the physical distance between us.
Finding new communities is easier when you can go in person, but it is not impossible to accomplish virtually as many organizations and clubs are shifting to an online format, and often promote themselves on Facebook. Groups can meet online instead of in-person and video-chats can aid in tackling isolation by simulating face-to-face contact. However, it is okay to admit that it is not the same.
I have found that I get more fatigued with video messaging because of the amount of time I spend on Zoom with both my classes and work commitments. Instead, I opt for phone calls with family and friends. It is important to find what works for you but remember how essential fostering a sense of community is and work on maintaining relationships with friends, family, and people with similar interests. A great way to use video chat platforms though is for virtual movie nights, some streaming services also support this (such as Netflix). I know Uvic is hosting the Breakfast Club over Zoom which is exciting and many clubs have chosen to host movie nights as well. Watching movies with others is an easy way to feel connected to other people despite everyone watching from the comfort (and safety) of their own homes. I wish you all the best, and hope you can find ways that work for you to build a community around you and work on your own community wellness.
The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.