Sisterhood

When Sisterhood Goes Virtual: Tips for alumnae and collegians to stay connected and healthy

By Lauren Filippini (Alpha Chi, Butler), editor

As the world grapples with the impact of COVID-19, Alpha Chi Omega recognizes the effects on our sisterhood. Campuses are closing, events are being canceled and social distancing is keeping us away from each other. As a relationship-based organization, Alpha Chi Omega relies on the connections between sisters. And while the current state of our nation may keep us physically separated, we know that the bonds of sisterhood extend beyond physical distance.
Here, we offer a variety of options to maintain your connection to Alpha Chi Omega and your sisters, as well as to take care of your own mental wellness. We are real, strong women who lead the way in challenging times, and it’s times like these that the strength of sisterhood is the most important.

VIRTUAL CONNECTION
Technology is the greatest tool in staying connected with sisters. Keep your group chats going, and don’t forget to reach out to a new sister – there’s no better time to get to know someone in your newest member class or someone who just moved to the city of your alumnae chapter. Phone calls, video chats and texts are all ways to share your bond.

And don’t forget snail mail! There’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten letter during challenging times. So hunt down your paper and stamps and drop a note in the mail.

In these times when it feels like everything is shifting, a return to normalcy is what we all want. What activities would you normally do with your sisters that just require a little shift to a virtual setup? Pick a new hobby to learn with sisters, find a virtual game to play or get cozy with a late-night movie that you all watch together from your own homes. Alumnae, check out our Alumnae Book Club for an opportunity to share a book with sisters and participate in Facebook discussions.

LEARNING AND WORKING ROUTINES
As most colleges and universities are moving to virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester, it’s important to stay on top of your academics in a new environment. Create a new routine for e-learning! Set up a learning space, make a schedule to track your daily goals and long-term assignments, and ask questions of your professors as you all figure out this new structure together. Some people even suggest dressing for success – put on the clothes (and shoes!) that you’d normally wear to class to get your mindset ready for learning.

The same tips can be used by those working from home as well! And special shoutout to all those women balancing childcare or parental care while putting in their hours – you are truly real, strong women.

MENTAL WELL-BEING
As a result of COVID-19, members are experiencing unpredictable situations and increased stress, anxiety and fear. First, remember that it’s OK to not be OK. Being strong can mean asking for help. Reach out to a sister for a conversation. Should you need to talk to a professional for emotional support, text “START” to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Numerous resources on stress management, relaxation, nutrition and connectedness are also available at ULifeline.org/stay_well.

One way to take care of your mental health is to stay physically active, even if your usual gym is closed. Go for a walk, download a fitness app or watch a YouTube channel to get moving at home. For extra accountability, FaceTime a sister and work out together!

It’s easy to get caught up in anxiety and fear, so try to take a few minutes to focus on the positives. Start a gratitude journal, find a funny GIF to send to a sister, hug your pet and look through (and post) #WhyAlphaChi on social media.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for ways to stay connected, focused and positive during this time. How are you maintaining the bonds of Alpha Chi Omega? Leave a comment and let your sisters know! And stay tuned for more tips and tricks on the Alpha Chi Omega social media channels.

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