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Community Psychiatry’s Leela Magavi, MD was featured on Healthline discussing limiting your physical interactions with your social circles. 

Why Shrinking Your Social Bubble May Be Necessary Right Now

By: Cathy Cassata | 8/21/2020 | Healthline

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, some people have created social bubbles or social pods — small groups of people with whom they physically interact — in order to get the comfort and socialization they need to get through the pandemic.

Experts say entering into a social pod isn’t something that should be done lightly, though, and every person should evaluate the risks before joining.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source states that the more people you interact with at a gathering and the longer you are together, the higher the potential risk of getting COVID-19.

However, many experts agree that maintaining a small circle of others you interact with in person can be beneficial to your well-being.

2. Be honest about why you’re ‘pruning’ your pod

To avoid hurting people’s feelings, have an honest conversation with family and friends about why you are limiting physical interactions and cutting back on your social bubble.

“This decreases the risk of miscommunication and people taking choices regarding safety personally. I recommend to keep communication honest and open and stress that it isn’t personal. Convey that you want to protect them and yourself, and that you still love and care for them,” said Dr. Leela R. Magavi, psychiatrist and regional medical director at Community Psychiatry.

However, she points out physical distancing shouldn’t change the way you love and care for family and friends.

She recommends keeping other lines of communication open, and setting up a regular standing virtual catch up, so it doesn’t feel like you are completely disconnected from those you were seeing on a regular basis.

3. Practice self-care

After you’ve considered the feelings of others in your pod, consider how adjusting your social bubble affects yours. Focusing on activities and self-care acts you enjoy can help your mental health.

“Individuals can engage in new hobbies, catch up on shows they have been meaning to watch for years, or read that exciting novel, which has been hibernating on the bookshelf… Daily walks and safe hikes to get that much needed fresh air also proves to be beneficial,” said Magavi.

Click here to read the entire article on Healthline.

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