How to stay connected during physical distancing

Stay emotionally and socially connected during physical distancing.

We are hearing a lot about ‘social distancing’ but a friend and colleague, Amanda JoyceJoy  founder of https://joythroughtherapy.com.au/educated me recently on a new perspective and use of language that I found helpful.  We do NOT need to socially distance, we are so used to conducting our lives through social media with Insta and Facie becoming such a go to in relationships in our advantage.

You can keep physically distant and stay connected to your friends, family, colleagues and clients.

Humans need connection

As Psychotherapist Dan Roberts explains in this article https://thriveglobal.com/stories/why-humans-need-connection/ humans require connection to be able to flourish.  We are hardwired for it.  We are all individual and therefore we require differing levels of connection, but for the most part we all need it someway.

I am what is known as a ‘people person’ I am someone who processes things relationally, this means that I don’t usually need time and space, or text books or journaling to be able to work through something, I need PEOPLE.  I need to talk things through (much to the delight of my family and friends!) bounce ideas around, get other’s perspectives.  I am also nourished and energized by those around me so I totally understand how devastating it could seem for some of you to feel that you are being advised to distance or disconnect.

But you don’t have to!

Here’s how you can stay connected

There are lots of ways that you can ensure that you are staying together, whilst being physically distanced.

1. Connecting with your peeps through telephone, text, facetime or Zoom (for groups!) – I have found this week that connection with my family and friends has actually increased. I have had a virtual coffee with friends, I have also had a virtual cocktail with friends. I also celebrated my niece’s birthday with a group zoom session set up and run by my lovely sister in law. I have even organized to catch up with a friend that I haven’t seen in over a year tonight on FaceTime! So, you can too.

If you feel like reaching out, if you are feeling lonely or like you have cabin fever, contact someone. Or if you have a regular coffee catch up, book club, dinner date…keep it scheduled in! Suggest you do it over the phone or online.

2. Joining online groups – I have joined a few online groups that I am finding helpful, one in particular I am loving is The Kindness Pandemic https://www.facebook.com/groups/515507852491119/ which highlights acts of kindness and lifts my spirits. You could also join social groups for your local area of further afield. You may want to set up your own group, maybe some people from your community. Be mindful of choosing groups that are safe and respectful and you will find helpful connection from.

3. Energetically connecting – we can intentionally hold space for each other without physically connecting, some may call this prayer, some call it meditation, whatever words work for you. Focus on who you are wanting to connect to, to send love to and do this through the power of thought. Send them protection, calm, positivity, strength or a hug. It may not be your cup of tea, but it works for me.

4. Look over the fence – I have also found I have spoken to my neighbours so much more in this past week or so. I have 2 elderly neighbours on either side of me, and I have stood (at a safe distance) and chatted with them over the fence. I have cooked for them and expressed my desire to support them or help them if they need it.

5. Writing letters – the old faithful snail mail, or the more modern approach, an email! Sit down with a cup of tea, light a candle and type or write away. Writing/journaling is therapeutic and helps our mind make sense of what is happening to us so this is a win/win.

Whatever you choose to do, recognize you have choice, you are NOT being forced to disconnect you are free to stay as connected as you were before this, hey, maybe even more so. Maybe now, our connections will be more intentional, we will be more fully present to it as we have made such a conscious decision to be ‘there’. To be aware of some silver linings of physical distancing, maybe we will end up actually seeing each other more and feeling a deeper connection after we come out of the other side of this?
Remember that we are still offering our services to you, we recognise the need to stay focused on your mental health and you can organise a phone or online session with me anytime. Just reach out.

 

If you are struggling and have questions about our counselling services please contact us