Few people can say they have had an easy time this year. For those following public health guidelines when able, most social interactions have been cut down to distanced meetings outside — when the weather was warm at least — or to less personal video calls.
These changes in social interactions have real effects on our mental health, said Shilagh Mirgain, a psychologist at UW Health.
“When we are not able to be together for long periods of time, it can impact our mood, motivation and outlook and make us more vulnerable to engage in negative health habits,” Mirgain said.
Some people can and should try to maintain social relationships despite the physical distance, Mirgain said, to combat some of the loneliness that can seep in. Meaningful conversations over the phone or on a video call can be as important as in-person meetups.
People can also get a mood boost through other methods…