Recent developments in the world are unprecedented, something we never expected to come – and here we are, maintaining social distancing, observing quarantine, and getting used to working, studying, entertaining our kids, and building relationships online.

Health care experts and politicians encourage populations around the world to stay at home and minimize possible interactions to decrease chances of contagion. Luckily, it doesn’t affect online interactions! There is so much more to being connected than merely not getting bored under the lockdown conditions

Let’s explore some benefits of actively seeking connections online to upgrade your life while sheltering in place.

1. Improve well-being and become happier

According to Psychology Today, people who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression. There is a direct link from lower rates of depression to happiness, and of course online interactions count.

Even listening to friends and loved ones’ voices, and especially if you can have virtual face to face talk using video conferencing technology such as Zoom or Skype, is a huge boost to one’s feeling of connectedness and being a part of a group.

2. Upgrade immune system and overall health

Scientists found in various studies that having strong relationships and a good social network is good for the immune system and overall health. According to Harvard Medical School (research published by Harvard Health Publishing), good connections and social support can improve health and increase longevity.

It’s interesting to note as well that the longest research of longevity among various populations showed that the most important factor contributing to better life expectancy level is being socially connected. In the challenging times of lockdown and quarantine it might seem impossible to increase the amount of connections that one has, but technology allowing for video calls, chats, instant messaging, and constant contact, provide support needed to affect health in a positive way.

3. Prepare for the next job opportunities

Economic downturn means job hunting is in the cards for many specialists now. In the US alone, the Fed analyses estimates that around 67 million people are working in jobs that are at a high risk of layoffs. While still in quarantine, you can increase your chances of employment by building a network within your industry, acquiring certifications, improving one’s overall professional outlook. All these things are available online now.

4. Build support networks to get you through difficult times

More than one’s career can be affected by these times of uncertainty and fear. Families and friends can help each other with all the above mentioned activities providing positive interaction, giving access to each other’s social and professional networks, offering support to those most vulnerable.

Consider activities that are usually out of your scope. Open your conference call to all of your connections and friends of their friends, invite your family to share your hobby online: get into a class together, host a webinar for teaching something you do well, or read a book online to your friends’ kids… You can even host an online party with real treats! There are online services to send champagne gifts internationally to make such a party a real success no matter where your friends and family are in the world.

5. Learn new skills and advance your performance in all areas

It's common knowledge that studying together increases knowledge retention and easies the process of learning. Now might be exactly the time to invite your friends to share a classroom with you, be it a yoga class on YouTube or an online course in management on Coursera or any other MOOC platform.

For most of us around the world the situation continues to be challenging and the level of uncertainty is critical. By working on a level of connectedness to increase happiness, brain and overall health, to prepare yourself for career and personal opportunities lying in the future you can focus your mind on things you can control – and improve your life.

Author's Bio: 

Alex is a professional writer and digital marketing expert.