Staying connected to people you know is difficult when you are in different places and told it’s unsafe to gather in groups. Most people currently are isolated at home other than when grocery shopping. You probably are working remotely, if you are able, and are lucky enough to still have a job. You may walk around your neighborhood and get to waive to your neighbors or exchange a quick greeting from a distance. This isolation is unhealthy mentally because most of us crave connection and miss it now that it’s harder to come by.

Your disconnection with friends, family and co-workers will grow unless you make an effort to try to maintain those connections. It won’t just happen. You will need to be disciplined, and many of us will need an actual plan.

It’s like networking, but with those in your personal circle. Instead of texting or liking a Facebook post, go into the contacts section of your phone and call people. You have or can make the time. Staying in touch with family may come more naturally. Calling friends you are used to keeping in touch with electronically or co-workers you see around your office takes more effort.

With family and friends I mostly text with, I am trying to call at least once a week. I regularly speak with co-workers I am working on projects with, but that is a small circle. I am trying to reach out to other co-workers I don’t regularly work with to check in. Most are surprised, but seem to appreciate the effort.

Doing this has the added benefit of keeping me connected with others despite being isolated in my home. As someone who lives for connection it’s helping to keep me sane, which seems like good goal these days. When you finish reading this, pick up your phone and reach out to someone now.