Because... We Are all "Craving Connection!"
We are human beings who thrive and demand the proximity of others for our own mental health, i.e. Sanity!!! Studies repeatedly show that being with others, who you find supportive, reduces anxiety and depression, helps maintain the relativity of our emotions, and helps lead to higher self-esteem and empathy.
Ironically, the very remedy we need to heal, and to reduce our anxiety in this pandemic, Connection, has been denied us. This “Routine of Quarantine,” I call it, is making the “Isolation Epidemic,” even worse. Prior to COVID -19, 47% of Americans said they felt isolated, alone and disconnected; it is now even higher by at least 20%.
Coronavirus infections are surging, much to our demise, and at the renewed risk of overburdening our healthcare system and impacting our financial economy by closing down businesses again. But it is too be expected. We are human beings who “Crave Connection!” it is just as much a human need for sustenance as is food, water, and rest. Not being or feeling connected to other humans, physically and emotionally , is just as much a risk factor in mortality as is smoking, heart disease and obesity.
I get it! I feel it too! The World is tired of being cooped up; we are craving the comfort of sharing a good meal over great conversations that bonds us, of validating and comforting each other through a gaze of understanding, and relishing the warmth of someone’s body in a welcoming hug. Especially with the upcoming July 4th Holiday, we are wanting to bust down the gates, dash to the local beaches, and party like a rock star! We can’t do “without” connection, anymore, for our own sanity.
In understanding our need for CONNECTION but also out of concern for our own health as well as the health of our loved ones, our neighbors, our community and our nation. Please practice social distancing and the CDC recommendations. May I also suggest the following temporary substitutes:
1. Get a pet: a dog a cat, a squirrel, a mouse, something that you can nurture and that will nurture you back.
2. Don’t text, or email, pick up the phone and call someone, they would love to hear the sound of your voice! (zoom has a 1.2 second delay so I still vote for phone for authenticity).
3. Eye Gaze: If you can be in person (wearing a mask) or on zoom, don’t be gazing at your phone, or anything else for that matter. Look at the person you are speaking too. Be intentional, and purposeful in looking directly into someone’s eyes. There is great connection in “Being Seen.” And authentic “eye contact,” is a great way to bond. After all, we first bonded with our mother and were “seen” when she first gazed into our eyes.
4. Humor: Try to incorporate humor in your day, several times a week. Whether it be you watch YouTube videos of your favorite comedian, have zoom conversations with friends and share a comedy hour, or send/ receive emails on a regular basis with a favorite joke to share.
I too crave dining, and mingling, and being together…
Remember CONNECTIONS CHANGE EVERYTHING!
Please stay safe, sane, and six feet apart on this Fourth of July Holiday!
Your Leadership & Engagement Expert, passionate about improving Connections Everywhere!