A few weeks ago we had our first ‘in person’ family dinner in months. We laughed, we hugged, and we talked like we hadn’t seen each other in years! On our way home after dinner I realized I felt calm, happy, peaceful, and relaxed. I knew why😊
There is a wealth of research that supports the idea that having meaningful relationships, sharing activities, and engaging in enjoyable times with others contributes to our overall well-being. We just feel good when we connect with people.
Think about the last time you had a phone call with a friend, a visit with family or a friendly chat with your neighbor. No doubt, these interactions left you feeling good. That’s because, as humans, we have a fundamental need to interact with other people.
Social distancing during COVID 19 has profoundly changed the way we connect these days, that we were so grateful to be together in person again. The time together rejuvenated us!
Feeling connected socially is important for our overall health and wellbeing, especially during this time of fear and uncertainty. Studies show that friendships and social connections provide intellectual stimulation and emotional support through hardships.
Social connectivity is the feeling of closeness and connectedness to a community. It is rooted in feelings of belonging, love and common values. Humans are innately social creatures. Every person we interact with is forever part of our social network. They are family members, friends, coworkers, teammates, neighbors, and acquaintances. Each has a lasting impact on our physical and mental health.
In order for us to remain connected outside of our “family bubble” during the ongoing pandemic, we need to ‘virtually’ come together. Listed below are just a few ways to reconnect.
Ideas to Maintain Current Social Connections or Reconnect
- Check in with friends and family, especially those who may be more prone to social isolation through phone calls or virtual meetings.
- Mail a letter or care package that includes a note of gratitude or personalized gifts such as a handmade craft.
- Create fun things to share on social media that can help boost mood and provide some comedic relief.
- Maintain participation in groups such as educational groups, business networking, faith and community-based groups, physical, and social activities in a virtual environment.
- Set up a virtual coffee hour, lunch hour meeting, date, or happy hour with friends, family, or colleagues. Get creative with virtual backgrounds to create a fun environment that matches the meeting.
- Arrange to walk at the same place at the same time. Smile and wave at each other from afar while talking on the phone.
- Go through your contact list. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative to let your friends, family, co-workers, and contacts know that you are thinking of them.
- Follow up with those who reach out to you.
I look forward to connecting
with you all virtually at this year's NLF conference. I'm presenting more on leader wellbeing in the concurrent session "Shifting the Narrative: Recognizing the importance of your own health and wellbeing as a leader!
Remember, reconnecting is good for your health!