How best to support our own wellbeing, both now, and going forward (4)
Connecting with others
One of the biggest challenges of our current ‘lockdown’ situation is that it is lessening our ability to engage in face-to-face interaction with others. Humans are social beings and we need to feel a sense of connection in order to experience full wellbeing.
In the initial shock and fear of coronavirus the world went into ‘freeze’ and so the lockdown initially served a purpose in helping us to feel safe. However, for many this is now outweighed by a sense of isolation and disconnection which, in itself, can lead to dis-ease. In fact, it’s thought that social isolation may bring greater health risks than smoking or obesity! ( https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/01/18/loneliness-might-be-a-bigger-health-risk-than-smoking-or-obesity/#2517273f25d1 )
Freeze, like fight or flight, is not meant to be a long-term state. This makes sense when you think of when and how animals in the wild go into freeze. It’s a temporary ploy to get the predator to stop the chase or release the prey in order for it then to escape – ie, run away as fast as it can.
Being held in a state of freeze is not healthy. It leaves us feeling out of control and dis-empowered. There is also a build up of adrenalin and energy with no outlet. If this is held for too long and turns inwards, it can lead to mental health issues and physical illness.
I therefore believe that it is helpful to connect in whatever ways are still open to us, whether that’s by phone, video calling, clapping with the neighbours on a Thursday night or whatever. Even something as simple as smiling at someone, offering to do someone’s shopping, or doing something ‘together’, particularly if it’s fun and makes us laugh, can help us to feel deeply connected. Singing is a particularly good activity to share as, it can be done while still following physical distancing, and sound, vibration and harmony are all good for our wellbeing.
Having a sense of purpose and direction
We can also use this time to reassess the things that are important to us:
- what are our goals?
- what vision do we want to hold, going forward?
This can be empowering and help to give us clarity and focus. It can also help us to identify our ‘tribe’ in order to find those that we connect with on a deep level and who help us to feel accepted and ‘at home’, which in turn supports our self-esteem and confidence (see yesterday’s post).
Tomorrow I’ll share a little of my vision for what we might learn from the experience of this period of lockdown and how we might use this to create a vision of a different future going forward.