- Mental health challenges posed by COVID-19 include loneliness, anxiety, depression, and increased substance abuse.
- Online gatherings can provide social support, a sense of belonging, learning and growth opportunities, convenience and accessibility, resilience, and adaptation.
- Choose the right cuisine, platform, and date to start an online gathering.
- Online gatherings are a great way to stay connected with friends and family while improving your mental health in challenging times.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, we have been forced to stay at home, work remotely, and have limited social interactions with other people. As a result, many people experience social isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. However, there is something you can do to overcome these challenges: participate in online gatherings. Here’s what you need to know about mental health challenges today, how online gatherings can deal with them, and how to start a simple one among your friends and family.
Mental Health Challenges Posed By COVID-19
Currently, there are many mental health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include loneliness, anxiety, depression, and even increased substance abuse. People feel disconnected from their social networks as many physical activities such as concerts, movies, or even hanging out with friends are no longer possible due to social distancing measures. Thankfully, these things can be solved by doing online gatherings. Here are the benefits of doing that.
One of the most significant benefits of online gatherings is that they provide social support. When you participate in online gatherings, you connect with people with similar interests, values, and experiences. Whether you join an online book club, a yoga class, or a virtual game night, you can feel the support and encouragement of others.
This support boosts mood, decreases stress levels, and improves mental well-being. Moreover, online gatherings can help you build new friendships and social networks, contributing to your happiness and life satisfaction.
Sense of Belonging
Another advantage of online gatherings is that they promote a sense of belonging. Participating in an online community makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself. You can share your thoughts, experiences, and emotions with others who understand you and accept you for who you are. This sense of belonging can reduce isolation, loneliness, and disconnection. Moreover, it can enhance your self-esteem and self-confidence as you realize that others value and appreciate you.
Learning and Growth
Online gatherings can also offer opportunities for learning and growth. For example, you can join an online course, a workshop, or a discussion group to broaden your knowledge and skills. Learning and practicing new things can boost your self-efficacy and enhance your sense of competence.
Additionally, online gatherings can expose you to new ideas, perspectives, and cultures, broadening your horizons and challenging your assumptions. All of these benefits can contribute to your overall mental health and well-being.
Convenient and Accessible
Another significant advantage of online gatherings is that they are convenient and accessible. With an internet connection, you can participate in online gatherings from anywhere, anytime. This flexibility can be especially valuable if you have mobility, transportation, or geographical barriers. Additionally, online gatherings can be more affordable than in-person gatherings, as you don’t have to pay for travel, accommodation, or food. These factors make online gatherings a practical and effective way to improve your mental health and well-being.
Resilience and Adaptation
Finally, online gatherings can foster resilience and adaptation. During challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic, people must adapt to new circumstances and cope with uncertainty and change.
Online gatherings can provide stability, routine, and normalcy, even when everything else feels uncertain. We can practice new skills, adjust our expectations, and develop new coping strategies by participating in online gatherings. These processes can enhance our resilience and help us navigate difficult situations more effectively.
How to Start a Simple Online Gathering
Now that you know the benefits of online gatherings, you may wonder how to start one. Here are the steps to follow:
Choose the Right Cuisine
You might think food isn’t essential in online gatherings, but much like physical gatherings, it can be an integral part of the experience. There are a variety of cuisines you can order from take-out. However, nothing comes close to the affordability and diversity of Middle Eastern food. Certain dishes such as hummus, falafel, and shawarma can be shared among many people in one order. Middle Eastern cuisine isn’t just delicious; it’s also packed with healthy ingredients that boost your mood!
Choose the Right Platform
When organizing an online gathering, choosing the right platform is the most important factor. You need a platform to connect with your friends and family, share stories, and laugh together. Zoom is an excellent option as it’s easy to use and provides video calling services with up to 100 participants.
Set the Date
Once you know what platform you’ll be using, setting a date for your online gathering will be a breeze. Make sure to pick a time and date that works for everyone. You can also create a group chat to discuss and plan the gathering.
Online gatherings are a great way to stay connected with friends and family while improving your mental health. With the right planning, you can create an enjoyable experience that will last long after COVID-19 is gone. Follow the steps above, and you should be on your way to enjoying a successful online gathering!