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Let’s stick together…from a distance

Posted: 5pm 12 Apr 2020

It’s no secret that positive social support can lead to better mental health outcomes.

With increasing restrictions on gatherings, both in the home and in public spaces, individuals and businesses alike are having to adapt to less face-to-face contact.

But the good news is that you can stay connected, even during isolation.

Getting tech-savvy

For most of us, sending a text or dialling into a video call isn’t exactly a ground-breaking concept.

However, in light of new COVID-19 isolation regulations and employers having to adopt flexible working conditions, our smartphones and technology have become more important than ever.

Aside from work, it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, especially for the older generations who may only just now be discovering the joys of FaceTime filters.

Here’s the down-low on the high-tech you need now:

Zoom

This video-conferencing software app allows you to virtually interact with co-workers or employers when in-person meetings aren’t possible. This is a great tool for small, medium and large-sized teams.

House Party

This one has been around for a few years, but has experienced a surge in popularity since the early stages of COVID-19 social restrictions. House Party is a video chat app for up to eight people at a time.

FaceTime

FaceTime is Apple’s video and audio calling service. It is available to users of Apple products, including iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

Facebook Messenger and Video Call

Facebook Messenger offers instant messaging to contacts, while its video calling feature allows you to have face-to-face conversations with family and friends.

TikTok

This one might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but TikTok (formerly known as musical.ly) is a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos. It is like karaoke for the digital age, where young people can express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing. We could all do with a few laughs now, right?

Virtual groups and tutorials

Speaking of going digital, online groups and live streams are other popular options to help people feel ‘connected’, all from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Facebook groups & pages

Whether you want to vent with fellow mums about toddler tantrums and teething, find a business support network and the latest grant opportunities, or get printable resources for home schooling, there are plenty of Groups and Pages on Facebook where you can interact and chat with like-minded individuals.

Here are some of our favourite local groups:

Here are some of our favourite local pages:

Let’s get physical

Gyms and sports clubs may have closed their doors for now, but many trainers have been quick to ramp up their online presence by offering (often free) live streams of home-based workouts. Work off some of those Easter eggs, keep connected, and improve your mental health in the process. It’s a win-win!

Messages of hope

Adults aren’t the only ones feeling the pressures of confinement.

If you’re looking for a collective experience for the kids, and a family-friendly way for them to express themselves, why not have a go at chalk drawings?

With playgrounds and parks off the weekend schedule for the time being, this is a great way for the little ones to feel connected and be a part of something.

Chalk bucket in-hand and plenty of flexibility with the pyjamas-as-clothes rule, kids are made to feel able, capable, and can get creative out in the fresh air.

It’s not uncommon to see messages of solidarity scrawled in colourful writing in Moreton Bay Region neighbourhoods, whether its communal paths, driveways or walkways.

Keep an eye out for messages like ‘you are not alone’, ‘keep smiling’ and, what has become a bit of a tagline for the COVID-19 crisis, ‘we’re all in this together’.

Hopscotch and colourful rainbows are also great ways to bring cheer, hope and solidarity. Just remember to exercise safety and common sense when drawing in shared areas, and always use adult supervision. This can be a fun, home-based activity.

Image credit: @tammyaitch077

Go old school - Write a letter!

In a world skewed toward instant communication, we sometimes forget the sentiment of a hand-written letter.

Australia’s postal system is deemed an essential service, so you can still readily purchase stamps and envelopes, and keep in touch with family and friends from afar.

Stick together.... from a distance! Be #MoretonBayTough

Whether it’s a virtual wave, Zoom meeting with colleagues, snail mail, or a brightly-coloured masterpiece on the sidewalk, just remember, we’re all in this together!

Don't forget you can stay social with us by hash-tagging #MoretonBayTough on Instagram and Facebook!

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