Many of us can relate far too well to the feeling of loneliness. From wearing masks to canceling family get-togethers or even quarantining at home indefinitely, it seems everyone is taking extra steps to protect their health these days. A global pandemic will do that to you. These precautions are necessary reactions to a health crisis that can leave us feeling very isolated.
Humans are social animals, so connecting with others is important to our health. In the not-so-distant past, we took care of our social needs by going out to dinner with friends, having a neighborhood barbecue, or going to an extended-family Thanksgiving dinner. All these activities are now considered unsafe and might even send you or someone you care about to the hospital. How can we connect with others safely during a pandemic?
Fortunately, we live in a digital age, so there are many electronic ways to connect. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are popular choices, and there are many others. If you do participate in social media, be aware that it can, for some people, actually contribute to depression. Political rants, snarky comments, and boastful posts can make us feel even more isolated. If social media is taking you down rather than lifting you up, personal phone calls or texts may be a better choice for connecting.
Writing a Letter
Before electronic media, people who lived in rural areas didn’t have as many opportunities to connect with others. Today, you can still try to connect the old-fashioned way by writing a letter or card and mailing it to a friend. Your personal correspondence will be treasured, and you may get an equal treasure in return.
Sunshine and fresh air have been considered a cure-all for centuries, and lots of data supports that idea. We do recommend wearing a mask when around others but taking a walk or bike ride can be an immediate mood lifter. As you pass neighbors or even strangers, a smile and wave will give your mood a boost without endangering your health.
A focus on physical health is important, but we can’t forget our psychological and emotional health. It may take a creative approach, but we can stay connected to others during a pandemic. Contact us so that we can help you feel better.