For some, it feels like life may be returning to normal, for others there is a new normal. We have gone more than a year of distancing ourselves from others and trying to make ourselves comfortable in these odd times. There’s no doubt that there has been increased feelings of loneliness in many of us. Some people have not seen anyone outside of their household for the past year. As humans, we desire to for connectivity. We normally do so by sharing interests, likes, hobbies, jobs, and activities together. Many of these things have been put on halt.
We seek out connection with others when we are feeling stressed or are facing challenges where we could use some support. What do we do when the entire country is going through the same thing together? When we have connection with others, it helps us feel more protected in what we are going through. There is no doubt that mental health concerns have grown significantly during the pandemic and physical concerns are likely to come as well, as many of us have changed habits or are no longer engaging in exercises or task that we once used to keep us healthy. Some of us are still fearful to go out, others fearful that if they do go out, they won’t be able to connect with loved ones. This is causing strain on our relationships with others.
We must move forward and figure out what we can do to comfort ourselves, but also maintain that human connection we need and desire. Connecting socially improves our overall wellbeing. If you are noticing that you feel like you have a lack of support, are feeling lonely, or are participating less and less in once enjoyable activities and have no one to talk to, it may be best to focus energy on increasing social connectedness. Some may say they don’t know how to do that. Some helpful tips are below:
Connecting with others helps us have a sense of belonging, we feel supported, and it helps us see purpose in our lives. When we have these present in our lives, it helps us feel happy, cared for, and loved. So even though people are saying we are “connected more now than ever before” we need to make sure we are incorporating the social connectedness in our lives.
Written by: Meaghan Warner, LCSW-S