Keeping Social Distance

Keeping social distance

What is social distancing?
According to the CDC, social distancing involves remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance whenever possible to limit the ability of the virus to spread.

How do you practice social distancing?

  1. Stay home and avoid contact with others. 
  2. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  3. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters).
  4. Limit your activities in public.
  5. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Tips for difficult conversations about social distance

  • Do not be afraid to use assertive communication
    • Assertive communication is not passive, aggressive, or hostile.
    • Assertive communication considers you and your loved one’s needs, feelings, and welfare of yourselves and others.
  • How to have assertive communication about social distance:
    • Be prepared
      • Make a list of the importance of social distance 
      • Talk to your health care professional. They will help in giving validity to the importance of social distance.
      • Involve others on your loved one’s care team for support
      • Suggest new ways of communicating, interacting
        • Introduce online support groups
        • Help set up regular phone calls or video chats with their friends and family to reduce the feelings of loneliness
        • Search for delivery services for groceries or medications
    • Express your concern and need for your loved one to distance themselves socially
      • Tell your loved one that your do not want them to get sick
      • Tell your loved one you are concerned for their future health and experiencing setbacks to access the activities they enjoy once the pandemic is over
    • Use nonverbal communication in your discussion
      • Use direct eye contact. Avoid staring or glaring.
      • Stand or sit tall and upright. Do not slouch. On the other hand, don’t be rigid.
      • Facial expressions should be open. They should match how you feel and what you are saying.
      • Use few and deliberate body language gestures that add to your verbal message. Do not fidget. Do not point your finger or move too close to the other person.
  • Remember, assertive communication:
    • Helps you communicate well with your loved one
    • Helps needs be met
    • Prevents future conflicts
    • Helps reduce stress
    • Helps keep you and your loved one safe and healthy

Read more about managing anxiety and stress.