By Cynthia May, MA, LLP, EAC Clinical Specialist – In our current environment, isolation is a real issue. The normal gatherings that singles or couples attended pre-pandemic like art fairs, movie theatres, restaurants, sporting events, concerts and even your local city events and dog shows are not being held. Watching television programs can get old and boring. Feeling connected during pandemic isolation can be a challenge. There have been many articles on how to connect with others while remaining home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but what if you don’t have many adults with whom you can connect?
There are different ways to get some positive emotional fulfillment.
First, the physical way. It is a basic and essential method – get outside. Yes, it’s winter in Michigan. If it’s safe to walk on the sidewalks, bundle up, wear good shoes, and go for a walk. It may only be 5 to 10 minutes, yet breathing in fresh air, noticing the sky, the clouds, the trees, the birds and squirrels will ground you back into the reality that yes, we are part of this world. Your mood will most likely shift quickly to enjoying being away from your home.
Allow yourself to observe – seriously – just observe without judgement what you see, hear, smell and feel. Can you even do this? Make everything you experience as “just is how it is” – not good or bad, ugly or pretty. Just observe as a child does. Pretend you are 5 years old again and enjoy the wonder of what nature and people and cities look like. Smell the fresh air and feel the cool breeze on your face.
If your neighborhood isn’t a good place to walk, drive to a park where the path has been cleared of snow. Steer yourself to a drive thru and order a cup of coffee or cocoa. Park in a place where people are coming and going and just watch and observe. Maybe you’ll see kids out on a playground. Or you could drive downtown or in your own little town and watch people walking and shopping. Do you know all the stores or businesses in your area? Go familiarize yourself. Being out of the house can make you feel connected to life again.
The second way is the mental method. Stir your mind with books (hard copy or audio), personal growth videos or podcasts, and music. Look for something that makes you feel emotionally well. Some authors that I recommend are Wayne Dyer, Brené Brown, Jean Houston, or Sonia Ricotti. Hearing someone speak is a great way to feel connected to others.
You can also connect spiritually. Spirituality gives us the sense of inner connection. Try exploring different areas that may be of interest to you.
Humans need other humans. We are a species who live best in social groups and interactions. Support your need for interaction or connection to life. Employee Assistance Center (EAC) is a confidential resource to assist you with feeling more connected. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded that each of us are very special and important in our own ways. If you are struggling with isolation or other issues, connect with EAC today. We are here to help!