The power of human connection is a vast phenomenon, sometimes overlooked in the daily hustle and bustle of our regular lives. But throw in the complications of a pandemic and the whole thing can get really thrown off course.
Being socially present with one another allows us to feel a connection; connection to our family, friends, community, and a wider world. The social aspect of our lives brings us joy, happiness, love while maintaining mental and physical well-being. All of which are important as a whole, separately, and to keep our lives in balance.
The importance of human connection is ever-so prominent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – the loss or diminished social and human connection is having grave results across the globe. Feeling isolated from our friends, family, and networks takes a toll on us all.
The impacts of isolation on our brain and well-being
The brain is the control board for our body. Without it being whole and well, other things can go awry. What's interesting is that the isolated mind and body can become unwell. The well-being of the brain thrives on human connection. It's why we've always heard "laughter is the best medicine", and in my opinion, I don't think that's far off.
Feelings of isolation can become overwhelming and hard to bear. The power of feeling connected is huge. It's why support groups and supporting one another are key therapeutic components.
I, for one, can be guilty of letting the weight of the pandemic bear down on my mental health. And some days, the worrying can become just a little too much.
Ideas for staying connected with our loved ones during the pandemic
We keep hearing we're all in the same boat. Our boat may be in different waters but at least there is a commonality between us all during this pandemic. This can help us to understand one another just that little bit more and give us the support and encouragement we need.
Our loved ones are also craving the family gatherings, the birthday parties, the game nights, and maybe, just maybe, standing back-to-back in the longest coffee line ever.
The task now is to re-invent some activities that can still provide that wonderful sense of being together without actually being together. At first, many of us struggled with the technology, but the power of video chats and zoom dinner dates has made a large impact. We can see and feel like we're still engaged without physically being there. The air hug has become a hilarious yet sentimental action. And as we Canadians know, it's a long winter, so this winter we are going to wear lots of layers and enjoy being outside walking six feet apart, breathing in that crisp fresh air.
How I stay connected with family and friends
Personally, we have endless phone calls. I think along the way, as texting and social media have grown, we forgot about how nice it is to stop and chat on the phone with someone for a long period of time. Seems kind of nostalgic; I am a kid again talking to my school friends on my super-hip bright blue phone.
HERE ARE MY TIPS AND TRICKS FOR KEEPING MYSELF FROM FEELING LONELY OR ISOLATED
Taking things day by day can be helpful to feel less alone during this unprecedented time. I have found the fresh air is also really therapeutic. Watching kids run and play without a care in the world can really put things into perspective. The small wins are the most important, the health of ourselves and our families are of the utmost importance.
It's also okay to feel the weight of things sometimes, it's healthy to process, and make a plan to move forward. I enjoy making lists, and calendars, and planning what's next. It helps to feel a lot more in control.
And for me, the laughter is sometimes all you really need, even if it's over video chat. The stories are just as good.
Can we all take one big exhale, and breathe this moment back in breath, by breath by breath? Let’s remember this moment in time is temporary, but there are ways we as a community can manage it: practise mindfulness, stick to a routine, eat well, get some physical exercise, and find unique and creative ways to connect with our friends and family. A healthy mind is a healthy body.