Social distancing may mean staying away from close friends and family, but it doesn’t mean we can’t connect in other ways. In fact, I think I’ve spoken to more close friends and family on the phone in the last few days than I would do in a whole week.
It’s an act of self-care to reach out and say ‘I’m scared’ or ‘I’m not coping well’ or ‘how long do I need to soak these pulses for?’!! Us humans need each other, and there are so many ways that we can prevent feeling lonely even when we’re alone.
The phrase ‘safety in numbers’ holds many truths. We are inherently social creatures; our ancestors would have quickly learnt that living closely together was crucial to their survival. That’s because when we’re living in a large group, we are better able to source food and water, be protected from predators, tend to the sick and protect our young from danger. It makes sense to stick together.
So, it can feel hugely counter intuitive to distance yourself from your tribe. However, we are very fortunate to have technology on our side. So, I encourage you to think creatively about connecting with your loved ones, any form of connection is going to make you feel listened to, loved and included, which are crucial to your well-being.
- Organise a weekly Skype date with a friend. Me and one of my friends have decided to meet over Skype every Tuesday for lunch. Just having this in my now unpredictable diary feels like a real lifeline.
- Move your groups and meetups online. This week my choir decided to meet on Zoom, a video conferencing platform which lets you call multiple people at the same time. With a lot of trial and error we decided the best way of singing ‘together’ was to have one person lead a song and the rest of us switch off our microphones and sing along in our separate parts. Even though this didn’t give the fullest effect of singing in a group, it felt good to sing in harmony with the lead and lovely to see a whole bunch of singing faces!
- Write some letters. I don’t know about you, but I love receiving a letter! It’s such a treat to recognise someone’s handwriting and to have something physical from your loved one to stick on your fridge! Writing a letter will naturally encourage you to make time to sit down and check in with how you’re feeling. Sending it to someone in your life that might not have access to technology means they’ll also benefit.
- Speak to someone you love. Hearing a familiar voice is so comforting, so pick up the phone and call someone you love.
- Cook with a friend. I have a friend who’s not the most confident cook, In the past I’ve promised to write down recipes but never got around to it. So to stay connected I’ve told her to contact me when she gets stuck and I’ll do an over the phone ready steady cook with her.
If you have any ideas or are organising any online event, please get in touch and i’ll add it to the list!