How to Weather Social Isolation

Social distancing has become the new normal, with one-third of Americans now under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, but experts say that level of isolation can be hard on your health.

"We don't know for sure what the long-term health outcomes of widespread forced social isolation will be, but given what we know about the effects of social isolation and stress on physical and mental health, there is reason to be concerned," said Tess Thompson, a research assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

The author of a recent study on social isolation and health, Thompson offered some coping tips.

Maintain social connection as much as possible during this time through technology and social media. There are various ways to connect online with friends, and some gym coaches and music teachers are offering online sessions.

Thompson said there's some evidence that active social media use -- such as sharing content or commenting on social media posts -- may be better for mental health than passive social media use, such as scrolling through newsfeeds.

If you're housebound with others, do fun activities together instead of all retreating behind separate electronic screens. Play board games, read books aloud, play music together, go for walks, eat dinner together or cuddle your pets, Thompson suggested in a university news release.

If you're separated from older loved ones, be sure to connect with them through whatever medium they prefer. Have children write letters to grandparents or chat with them online or over the phone. Email or text older love ones updates and let them know they can contact you if they're lonely or need anything.

Get outside. Most stay-at-home advisories allow for you to go for walks in parks or in your neighborhood. You can still smile and say "hi" to people while maintaining a safe distance. If you run into your neighbors, ask if they need anything.

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What Our Patients Say About Us

    I have been lucky enough to be one of Dr. Kibler's first patients and have stayed with him ever since!  He is extremely talented - he is a true artist - not only with his gentle, caring dentistry - but when you visit his office, notice the beautiful paintings of various golf course holes - all painted by Dr. Kibler - they make you think you're there on the course!  He brings that same talent to caring for each of his patients.  He treats you as if you are the only person in his office and always takes the time to ask how you are and answer any questions you have.  Recently, he needed to refer me to a specialist and after trusting only Dr. Kibler all of these years, I was concerned, so I asked him if he could recommend someone he trusted as much as I trust him and, as usual, he didn't let me down.  Dr. Kibler is a wonderful person and friend who cares about his patients and their needs and I am honored to be one of his first patients!  Dr. Kibler always has the neatest folks for his staff, too!  They are all wonderful, caring people who, like Dr. Kibler, will make you feel right at home and comfortable from the minute you walk into their office (and they are animal lovers - and we all know how special folks like that are!)  Come visit Dr. Kibler and his staff  and you will see why he has been my dentisit for over 20 years!

    S.D.

    Yes, you are in need of a dentist.  Allow me to help with your decision, as I know a terrific one, Dr. J. Christopher Kibler!!! First though, let me tell you how I found him and most importantly why I have stayed his patient for 19 years. My prior dentist was retiring and sold his practice to Dr. Kibler.  My immediate reaction was probably what your're experiencing now, dread of picking the wrong "new" dentist. Courageously, I ventured into my first appointment with him.  After all, I had to start somewhere. Safe, was my first reaction to meeting Dr. Kibler,  His whole demeanor put me at ease.  And, more than ease, I felt secure.  He has a humor that was disarming.  Looking back on it now, as I write this little piece, it wasn't that he told jokes, he had a wit about him that is clearly based on wisdom, and his joy in life. However, the most important reason that I have stayed his patient, is his skill level.  He and his staff upgrade their education frequently.  I witness the improvements each time I need his help.  There is either a new piece of state of the art equipment or a newer technique that he's mastered.  He is not only a gifted artist giving great attention to detail, he has never hurt me. In fact, when I needed to see an oral surgeon for a skin grafting procedure, I went to Dr. Kibler for my first numbing injection.  He has an absolutely pain free method of giving injections.  I repeat, he has NEVER hurt me. In closing, let me add that I have a high standard for my appearance, and having a beautiful healthy mouth is very important to me.  I have always worked in the beauty and fashion industry, so of course the veeers that Dr. Kibler created for me were beyond pretty, they are believably natural. Last, let me say that although there are many good dentists around my dentist is terrific.

    Terry S.

    For nearly TWO decades Dr. Kibler and his awesome staff have taken care of my, as well as my wife's teeth.  Cleanings, repair, filling replacements, bridges, etc..  This  man has done it, done it right and done it well.  We run a small business of 35 people,  many of them and some of our family also use Dr. K and crew.  Put it simply, they get it and they will treat you with care and compassion.  Nothing to lose, everything to gain.  #Dr.Kibler

    Greg C.