Wellness Wednesday: Social distancing during the holiday

May 20, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

It’s been more than two months since social distancing was enforced and as Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial start of summer) approaches, there are plenty of reminders that this year is different. No parties or big dinners, non-essential travel or visitors. Even parades have been canceled across the area. 

As this is traditionally one of the busiest holiday travel weekends of the year, you may find it difficult to enjoy the day without being surrounded by friends and family.

However, just because everyone is social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t interact with those you care about.

In fact, staying connected during this time is key to maintaining good mental health. According to a report on COVID-19 and mental health, “numerous individuals, while forced to stay at home, have taken the opportunity to reconnect with distant relatives and friends…people’s mental well-being has been supported through the creation of online support groups and social communities to combat loneliness and boredom and reinforce social connectedness…”

As creativity and the urge for physical interaction work together, there are several ways to stay connected with family and friends. Here are a few ideas to try this holiday weekend:

  • Host a virtual dinner or game night
  • Leave a meal at a family member, coworker or friend’s doorstep
  • Try a new barbecue recipe
  • Organize a social distancing parade
  • Plant flowers
  • Take a walk or run
  • Take the day to unplug and relax

Mental Health Awareness Month

No matter what you decide to do, be sure to protect your mental health first.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health and wellbeing have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Michigan Medicine has several resources for support during this time. While this includes mental and emotional health, there are also spiritual and physical wellbeing tips offered by the organization’s experts.

Please remember that you are not alone.

Wellness Wednesdays

Since the beginning of April — and moving forward — Headlines shares a wellness tip every Wednesday. They cover a wide-range of topics that will guide you through this difficult time.

The overall goal is to help faculty and staff take care of themselves and each other.

In case you missed any tips, here’s a quick rundown. Click on each one for more details:

As the last tip says, be sure to be kind to yourself — this weekend, and every day. Don’t burn the barbecue and enjoy the holiday as much as you can.

Thank you for all that you do — and for protecting your health and the health of everyone around you at Michigan Medicine. 

If you have a tip, let us know by emailing headlines@med.umich.edu