Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend and were able to connect with people even though we are still being asked to keep 6 feet between us. I am thankful that I was able to connect with some family and friends in person this weekend – while being careful to maintain my physical distance. I have really missed that face to face piece…social media is wonderful, and it’s better than nothing, but seeing people in person fills my bucket more than through a screen.
Speaking of connecting…did you know that connecting with other people is one of the most important parts of mental health? It’s also good for your emotional health, and even your physical health. Connecting is more than just having a conversation with someone, or sharing the same interests. Connecting is about being open and real with someone else. When open, real, and honest connecting is happening you feel understood and listened to, and you are also actively listening to the other person. There is eye contact and you are both responding to each other.
The quote, “Everyone is connected, but no one is connecting”, reminds me of the problem with texting and messaging. It’s pretty hard to have a real, emotional connection with someone without seeing, or at least hearing them. If you can’t see or hear each other, it’s difficult to respond with empathy and feeling, and get a real sense of how the other person is feeling.
In this strange time where we are being asked to “stay home”, I would like to encourage you to find ways to authentically connect with other people. Video chats, phone calls (not just texting), visits in the driveway (6 feet apart) or over the fence are all ways to connect to each other. Hug those in your household, and practice actively listening to each other. Not sure how to do that? Use this simple chart to help you to remember to Listen (not just hear):