For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

A November study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found an “alarming” increase in loneliness since the arrival of COVID-19. In the survey of 1,008 people aged 18–35, 80% of participants reported “significant depressive symptoms” during the pandemic.

Many of us are dealing with loneliness, with the separation of family members in quarantine, closed social settings, and loss of family members due to COVID-19. We all are having to find ways to maintain relationships and in some cases create new ones during this difficult time.

Finding ways to connect with family and friends may look different this year but it’s still needed. Think of ways you can connect with your family and friends while maintaining social distancing. This can include coffee chats or games via Zoom or a social distanced walk. 

Not able to get on Zoom? Think of your neighbors or church members as part of your community even if you’re not seeing them regularly. Can you talk with them regularly? Could you start a women’s or men’s group to keep each other motivated? Don’t hold off reaching out to friends you used to meet with after work or over the weekends, chances are they too are dealing with loneliness and would like to catch up.

Maybe you’re not interested in starting your own group. Start with your church. Are you a part of the women’s or men’s group? Singles or married? This is a great way to stay connected. Also, there are a lot of groups online that you can join, with Facebook groups, you can connect with those who like to dance, knit, paint, or do any other type of hobby. You can also join apps like NextDoor to connect you with your neighbors. Here’s a reminder from God that we are never alone.