• Emily Miller

We’re All in This Together: Ways to Reach Out and Support Your Extended Community

With many people unable or nervous to leave their houses or apartments right now, it’s easy to feel like our worlds are shrinking. And to a certain extent this is true. Many of our physical spaces have been limited; we can’t return to school or the office yet, we can’t go out to dinner or the movies with our friends. But the outside world is still there! Technology has proven itself more useful than many of us realized because we can FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or call family and friends at almost any time of day. With nowhere to be and oftentimes a lot less to do, it’s easy to feel stuck and alone in your free time. 

When you have an unexpected gap in your schedule or feel like having a great conversation during dinner – try talking to the people around you that you know or see, but don’t connect with regularly. There are so many friends, neighbors and acquaintances that we may have been used to seeing or catching up with, and they probably miss those connections just as much as you do. We encourage you to reach out to the folks that have been a part of your non-COVID-19 lives; you never know who could help you network, feel better or just pass the time. 

It’s also important to realize that extended quarantines and shelter in place orders are more difficult for some people. Receiving a phone or FaceTime call could be the highlight of somebody’s day and could phenomenally improve the mental health of both you and the person you contact. COVID-19 is a global situation and we are all in this together so try and make the most of your isolation by reaching out and expanding your community despite the lack of face to face contact.  With that, I urge you to reach out to: 

  • The colleague you’ve never worked with, but saw in the hallways and always had a pleasant exchange with

  • The grandparent or older friend who is struggling with isolation

  • The friend who tells you their dating stories, but may feel very much alone right now

  • The neighbor or “community” acquaintance who you see at events and on social media, but haven’t exchanged numbers with

  • The parent who is working and teaching their children who are home from school

  • The friend of a friend, who you adore when you see, but don’t otherwise talk to

  • Old colleagues, high school and college friends… maybe not old flames, but that is up to you

Don’t worry about who texted who last, just reach out. You and they will feel better together!

This Blog was written with collaboration by Emily Miller, Aidan Willner and Carrie Goldstein