It’s week five of staying home for me, and it’s been a doozy on my mental health. As an introvert, I didn’t expect to struggle with not physically seeing anyone other than my husband. But in these five short but painfully long weeks, I have learned otherwise. Staying connected with friends and family is a necessity for my mental health, just as much as having my “me-time” is. Video chat is my top way to stay connected lately.
There are so many benefits to video calls during quarantine. It breaks up your day, gives you someone to keep you company and allows you to check in on one another.
Break Up the Monotony
My days are pretty much the same. Wake up, work, maybe get a little movement in, “relax” for a bit, and go to bed. My job is tedious lately, since we’re pretty slow. The weather hasn’t been great, so it’s tough to get out for a walk. It’s difficult to wind down and even harder to sleep.
It feels like my days last much longer than 24 hours. There’s nothing to look forward to with the same schedule day in and day out. I am bored out of my mind! I never realized how much I would miss having the ability to run errands or visit loved ones.
But when I have a video chat scheduled with some friends or family, it adds variety to my schedule. We usually chat about trivial topics, but it feels great to catch up and talk about something other than work or what to cook for dinner.
Someone to Keep You Company
I’m quarantining with my husband, so I at least have someone to talk to throughout the day. But I have several friends who live alone and are having a tough time isolating. They’ve expressed that they’re lonely, which is making quarantine even more difficult for them. A video chat offer a great way to keep each other company. It’s as essential to me as it is to my friends.
The other day, while my husband was at work (he’s an essential employee), I FaceTimed my friend while I made meat sauce. She told me all about a show she had just finished watching on Netflix. We giggled while I struggled to cook. It was a great time!
My other friend and I will Zoom during work hours and chat while we wrap up simple projects and send emails. Sometimes we’re talking, sometimes we’re just working, but it’s just enjoyable to have someone else (sort of) in the room with me.
Check-in on One Another
To be honest, quarantine is wreaking havoc on my mental health. Before this all started, I was doing a lot better on the mental health front. My depression was significantly better since switching to a non-hormonal birth control method (more on that later). My anxiety was pretty well in check. I was feeling better than I had in a long time.
And now, I’m struggling. I’m anxious, sad, confused, and frankly exhausted. But, I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. The uncertainty that is life right now is affecting all of us in some way or another.
Video chatting allows you to look at your loved ones in the eye and see how they’re truly feeling. It’s easy to play if off that you’re doing okay via text or on the phone, but face-to-face interaction lets you see the truth. Take the time to check in on your friends and family to see how they’re holding up during these stressful times.
Best Apps to Try
With all these reasons in mind, it’s time to get chatting! Luckily, there are a lot of platforms available for video chats these days. Here are my three favorites:
- FaceTime: Almost all of my friends have iPhones, so FaceTime is a convenient way to connect. I prefer this method for one-on-one chats, since when there are more than three people on a call, the blocks for each person start bouncing around based on who is talking.
- Zoom: This platform has become SO popular during quarantine. Zoom is great for companies looking to collaborate in large groups, but also for friends looking to hang out. The downside here is that, to host more than three people, one person needs to have a paid account. Luckily, a lot of people have a paid account through work that they’re able to use.
- Google Duo: A friend suggested this one as she’d used it with her family. Same as with Zoom, the boxes don’t move. And it’s free! Great for large groups when used through your phone, but groups aren’t accessible through your computer.
I can’t stress this enough – we need to look out for ourselves and each other during these uncertain times. Incorporate video chat into your days and see how it improves your mood. There are so many apps you can try. Let me know what your favorites are!
And that’s all for today, friends. See you next time!