When you can't hug, get emotionally close

Be emotionally connected via email, Whatsapp, or Messenger; get closer to your friends by writing a message or arranging virtual meetings; make video phone calls.

Have fun, and if you like to play in groups and chat with other players, try https://discordapp.com/.

If you enjoy watching movies with your friends, you can use https://www.netflixparty.com/. If you enjoy watching group videos on YouTube, you can watch them in the virtual room at https://www.watch2gether.com.

If you enjoy reading, use this opportunity to finish the book on your bedside table, and if you want to share your readings, look for personal blogs that function as online reading clubs on the internet.

Hold audio and video meetings and share a video lunch with colleagues if you work from home. Try to plan your day and, if possible, stick to your usual routine.

If you want to support a cause or do volunteer work, you can do so online, there are several websites that allow remote volunteering, such as the Portuguese Red Cross, https://www.cruzvermelha.pt/voluntariado/oportunidades.html or the UNV (United Nations Volunteers), https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en which links you to organizations working for peace and development.

Participate in healthy activities. Exercise, regular sleep, and a well-balanced diet are all beneficial. Many instructors provide online fitness and yoga classes.

To reduce stress, consider practising mindfulness. Connect with and identify your sensations, and release tension by focusing on the present moment without ruminative or obsessive thoughts.

Help friends or neighbours in need by doing their shopping, thereby reducing the number of people exposed.

Share your emotions with friends, family, or coworkers, and talk about how you're feeling. If social isolation bothers you, consult a professional at https://www.mindfirst.pt/.


Cecilia Almeida, Clinical Psychologist

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