What can help clients keep their relationships strong even when they can’t get together with people they care about?
Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT has several strategies for fending off loneliness and building relationships during the pandemic. Have a listen.
Figure out some project that you love, some hobby and passion that maybe you could do with other people, whatever that may be. I actually live in Nashville part time, and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico part time. When I’m in Nashville, I write songs and I live with three songwriters. Two of them are young, they’re twenty-five-year-olds, and one of them watches movies with her mother while they’re on the phone, and they talk about the movie through the whole movie, while they’re on the phone together. I’ve never done that in my life, but I think that’s a kind of clever thing to do – pick out your favorite movie or some movie that neither of you has seen and connect with somebody that way. My partner is a physician and she’s doing that physical distancing thing, but she has a standing appointment with someone where they walk together every week, and they decided to do their walk virtually. My partner was walking near our house and her friend was walking near her house, and they just chatted on the phone the whole time. It was a little different than their physical walks where they’re together, but they had a fantastic time, she just came back and told me how great it was. So, I think you need to be creative in figuring out ways to connect with people and/or meet new people to connect with, if you’re feeling very isolated and alone during this time.
The pandemic poses a lot of new challenges for relationships. But with some creativity, clients can keep enjoying quality time with friends and family alike.
What strategies have you found most helpful for clients who are feeling lonely because of social distancing? Please let us know with a comment below.