As Americans are being asked and required to be socially and physically distant during the Coronavirus pandemic, emotional and spiritual connection becomes even more important. If you’re an introvert, this is what you’ve been training for your entire life. You’ll happily hibernate with your books or Netflix and stay in your pajamas all day. For those social types and for those people who have energy to spare, social isolation can be difficult at best and almost unbearable for others. You really have to enjoy your own company and that of your partner and family members to make the best of this period of physical distance. The good news is that you and your partner and kids are together and none of you has to face this alone.
It’s important to pay attention to your mental health during this time of uncertainty. If you’re someone who doesn’t do well with change, this could very hard on you. It’s beyond strange to wake up one morning in a different world situation than you experienced when you went to bed the night before. I’ve heard from some people that this and the worries about contagion have them depressed and feeling hopeless. For the spouses of essential workers, seeing your partner the regular amount of time is great, but the worry that they may be exposed and thereby expose the family can weigh heavily.
If you’re stuck home alone without your normal social outlets, it can affect you negatively and it’s important to try some different ways to connect where you can still stay a safe distance away. To avoid becoming too withdrawn or isolated, be sure that you communicate with others. I saw a photo of some neighbors having “happy hour” each in their own yard but within speaking distance. They were happy and having a great time staying connected and physically apart.
Reach out to and check in with those people you normally socialize with. Make sure they’re ok. We have so much great technology at our fingertips. Video calls are something that was a science fiction when I was a child, now we can see each other on screen anytime. Stay connected to your feelings and share with your loved ones how you’re coping.
Make sure you and your partner are connecting emotionally and having real and honest conversations about the state of your life together. Be a support for each other and together you can face anything. None of us know what to expect, but keeping emotionally connected makes everything easier. Don’t stop living!