As Covid 19 continues to spread across the world, medical experts and government officials agree that social distancing is the most effective way to stop the spread of the illness. While social distancing is important and necessary in our communities, it can also be hard on our sense of well-being and mental health.

After all, our social interactions, relationships and sense of connection are part of what gives us a sense of happiness and purpose. During times of social distancing, when we may not have access to our normal way of life, it’s important to develop self-care strategies that support mental and physical health, while also providing a sense of connection.

The good news is that we live in a world that is well-equipped to connect virtually in a variety of different ways. FaceTime calls, video chats, emails and more are all readily available and accessible, and most are free. Developing a practice of daily connection, as well as establishing daily routines that include self-compassion and gratitude can go a long way to boost your mood and provide you with a sense of grounding during anxious times.

Here are 5 simple self-care strategies designed to help you thrive during social distancing.

Develop a Routine

Staying home for social distancing can wreak havoc on your daily routines. The good news is, there’s something you can do about it. Take stock of what is still available to you, and develop a daily routine that you can rely on to get you through the day feeling productive, peaceful and accomplished. A routine and rhythm to your life will help to keep your days moving forward, and give you a sense of comfort in unusual times.

Daily Gratitude

It can be easy to fall prey to the anxiety and negativity of these unprecedented times, but you can choose to do something else. Practice gratitude each day to keep your spirits lifted and your mind at ease. Now is the perfect time to begin a daily gratitude journal, listing out the ways that life is working for you, even in the midst of change.

Exercise Self-Compassion

Being isolated at home, having your life and routine’s suddenly adjusted and reading the news of the day can be a lot for any person to process from day to day. Give yourself extra compassion during this time. If you find that establishing a routine feels impossible or you have a hard time coping, reach out and ask for help. Some days, you may find it hard to stick to a routine or anxiety may strike. Now is the time to give yourself the kindness and compassion you deserve.

Stay Connected

When you can’t be with the ones you love, find ways to stay connected. Schedule a daily FaceTime call with family and grandkids. Write emails to loved ones at a distance as often as you like. Pick up the phone and call old friends and colleagues. Schedule video chats with neighbors or friends. No matter how you choose to do it, making daily social interaction a priority will go a long way to boost your mood and your sense of normalcy during these times.

Be Generous

Remember to be compassionate toward others, too. Try to believe that everyone is doing their best, even if it is frustrating and complicated. Our relationships can feel extra strain during these times, especially if we’re kept apart for long periods or, conversely, if we’re isolated together all the time. Try to take the time you need to practice compassion toward yourself and the people who matter most. Remember that this isn’t forever, and at some point, many aspects of your normal life will eventually resume.