A few early mornings last week, I was greeted by a pair of ducks in the parking lot.
Seeing them together got me thinking about the loneliness so many of us have been feeling during COVID.
Among the myriad of reasons why COVID has been so hard, the biggest may be the epidemic of loneliness for so many. Having to suddenly stop socializing has been especially hard for those who are single or live alone. People have become truly isolated!
So much loneliness!
Even for those in relationships or living with others, friendships and extended family relationships have been missing from the normal everyday lives that we had built pre-pandemic.
Humans are wired for connection
People need people to share and enjoy life. Our relationships help us balance each other emotionally in a world that can impose a dramatic range of daily ups and downs. We can manage all the changes and challenges by stepping through them together — just like my parking lot ducks. And COVID meant we were unable to be present with the people we love and enjoy.
Now, the vaccine is giving us hope for increased connection. Thank goodness! Because we need connections. Not just romantic relationships… friendships too!
I am so excited that my friends and I will be vaccinated soon and can finally share a hug again! Friendships are part of the relationships that are so important in life.
I know this idea of getting back to normal or more realistically, figuring out your new normal — may cause anxiety. We may need time to get used to being together again, especially with all of the distancing that we did during COVID, and all of the anxiety we experienced around the unknown.
Please keep in mind that connections bring us life and joy. They are worth it! And as you create your new normal, I want to remind you that you don’t have to swim through this life alone.
As we begin to see some light with the COVID vaccine, I wish connection for you, in whatever way feels safe and comfortable.
You can navigate challenges like loneliness and strengthen your mental health and wellbeing in many ways. Contact us for skilled trauma-informed therapy.
Want to know more about the power of connection? Here are some resources and videos you might find helpful, especially in reconnecting after COVID:
We are wired for connection…
Why We Are Wired to Connect by Gareth Cook in Scientific American
In Sync: How Humans are Hard-Wired for Social Relationships by Kayt Sukel at the Dana Foundation
Why Are We So Wired to Connect? by Jill Suttie, Psy.D at The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley
Hardwired for Connection at PsychCare
Just like ducks…
Connection is even the cure for addiction! Check out the ideas of Johann Hari…
“You aren’t a machine with broken parts. You are an animal whose needs are not being met…” and other quotes by Johann Hari” from the book Lost Connections at Goodreads
The Opposite of Addiction is Connection by Robert Weiss PhD, MSW at Psychology Today