• Tips from Tori

5 Tips To Stay Socially Connected When You Find Yourself Apart!

Updated: May 22

Real Tea Moment!

Change can be hard. Change that is unexpected and previously uncharted is even harder. Our world finds itself in a period of unexpected change and a temporary “new normal” that involves social distancing and staying home more when possible. Thankfully we are able to be so well connected during unprecedented times and even the chaotic, busy schedules (hello life in healthcare) we face in our daily lives thanks to mobile technology. I know I’m not the only one that is completely reliant on the use of email, texting, social media, and Google searches on my smartphone to stay connected and informed as well as quickly communicate constantly!

Life is such a balancing act in general when you’re a nurse but add on maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends in other cities and/or states on top of the busy nurse life of working often difficult and mentally taxing shifts, applying to new positions, maintaining licenses/certificates and continuing education....Let's just say that staying connected can be pushed to the bottom of our list more often than not.

Here are my 5 tips for staying connected when you find yourself apart!

1 Schedule Zoom/FaceTime/Skype calls with family or friends.

Grab a drink and a cozy blanket before hosting happy hour with your friends from your smart phone! Simply putting a date on the calendar to chat is something to look forward to! Connection with your community is important to continue. Showing up authentically for those you may not be as close to yet but are friends with on social media will foster stronger bonds! Lately I we have established a "family" game night on Sunday's. On Sunday nights (when I am not working), we all download a game app and play a game together on Zoom. This really gives us a sense of connection.

2. Listen to a podcast, read an interesting blog or article

I find much inspiration and relief hearing or reading others stories. I have been really engaged in several newsletters, blogs, and podcasts! This is what inspired my own podcast. I truly enjoying hearing from experts, bloggers, artists, creators.

One of my more recent favorites: Maria Shriver's "The Sunday Paper." This is a free modern digital newsletter to inspire your heart and mind! Thought provoking, wise, and provides a sense of connection for me.

Podcast Favorites:

3. Take the time to comment something on a family or friend’s social media post

We are so lucky to live in present day. We have access to our loved ones so easily and with click of a button. Sounds silly, but really! Not only will you brighten their day but you will be able to be more present and stay up-to-date with each other’s lives. You never know what a kind message can do for someones day. Doesn't matter the platform, sending some love could really change someone's day.

4. Snap a photo or record a short video message about your day/recent activities to share on your social channels!

Showing up authentically for those you may not be as close to yet but are friends with on social media will foster stronger bonds! I have developed such a strong community this way. I had no idea that opening up about my life (the ups and downs) would resonate so strongly with so many people. This is also a fun, creative outlet for me and one that I am so thankful for now.

5. Detox and lean on the people you need!

I understand, many many be emotionally exhausted! This is the time to really value the loved ones in your life and lean on the ones you really need to. I have been very open about struggles with mental health, anxiety, our family's struggle with mental health disease. Take this time to really lean on the people you need to. Spark up a conversation with someone close to you. Reach out if you are feeling a certain way. I have personally pulled away from mass media. It does not help my mental status. I focus on my immediate relationships and the things I can control.

Essential Communications

As nurses, there has never been a more important time than now to be able to effortlessly and quickly communicate with those we love and find ourselves apart from.

We are excited to announce & celebrate moms who make our world a better place…military, teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers.  Twelve (12) lucky and deserving moms will win a $1,000 Prize courtesy of Verizon ($500.00 cash + $500 Verizon shopping spree at Verizon.com or their nearest Verizon store).

1) Jenn Ladoucer - firefighter and paramedic in Northern California. She is a single mom of a 15 yo and she had to move her out to live with her grandmother so they can both be protected from the pandemic while Jenn serves the public. She also volunteers her time (pre-Covid 19) at the Middle and High Schools in her area so girls can get educated on her line of work. She is very inspiring to everyone around her and her best friend says everyone would agree that “Jenn would give you the shirt of her back”. She was nominated by her best friend Sheila Banuelos. 2) Jillian Amicone from New Jersey was nominated by her husband, a police officer, in a moving tribute to her contributions as an Occupational Therapist for subacute and short-term rehab patients. She works long hours, drives 1.5 hours to and from work each day. He says takes care of family and patients and she’s on the front lines as a medical worker. 3) Heidi Trammell was nominated by her husband. She is an active duty military spouse and a teacher who is extremely active in the community. As a counselor, she organizes food distribution, donations of clothing and household needs for numerous families. She is on the phone until the late hours of the night helping parents deal with situations, resolving conflicts, or just being an open ear for someone in need. She creates music videos for her school and during Covid-19 Heidi has created a daily morning show to remain engaged personally with her students.

4) Ellen Thompson is a special needs teacher for a school in Mobile, Alabama. She was nominated by the school librarian who is a colleague always amazed by everything Ellen does to support her students while also taking care of 4 children of her own. Ellen is the type of teacher that comes to school every day with a smile, a hug, and a positive outlook that is infections. During this challenging time, she has watched Ellen partner with new teachers assisting them in curriculum and preparing materials - often spending her own money and late nights - she helps them become the best they can be. 5)  Susan Weinert is a nurse in the front lines of Covid-19 in central Florida. She was nominated by her daughter Corinne as she wants to help her mom travel to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit her brother who was injured overseas in a humvee accident and has been in the hospital since August of 2019 with no signs of leaving soon. The prize will help her mom go visit and spend time with him so she can help him in his healing process.

In light of this, I wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who nominated their #SheHero and say congrats to all the #GivingMore winners! I have been a longtime customer of Verizon and felt honored to be apart of the Mother’s Day giveaway! Of the 12 winners, the 5 listed below are the Mom's who allowed us to share their information with the campaign. A huge thank you to all who participated!

Verizon will give the best price on wireless to continue to thank and support the incredible Nurses, Teachers, First Responders and Military families!

I recently shared on Instagram about the nurse hero in my life, my sister in law, Heather. She is an Adult ICU nurse who works in Washington state near ground zero. She was a part of a team who saw some of the first cases of this virus and has been working in a COVID unit since early March. She is my health #SheHero that has inspired me during this trying time and reminded me of my dedication to this profession! I am super grateful to live in an age of instant global connectivity that allows me to stay digitally connected with her and many others in my life.

Head over to Verizon to discover your discount!

Verizon Discount Link for ALL you #SheHeros

Much love, hope, and inspiration to you all!

Tori Meskin BSN RNC-NIC has been a clinician since 2012, works in acute care/inpatient NICU & Pediatric settings in southern California. She is a blobger, podcaster, NICU & Pediatric Critical Care RN, Nurse Practitioner student, a Barco Uniforms Ambassador, and Brave beginnings affiliate. Find her at www.tipsfromtori.com or info@tipsfromtori.com