This year is challenging us in so many ways, but the thing that can make these challenges so difficult to surmount is our #isolation. So many people are finding themselves still isolated from family, friends, community and any #socialization that could otherwise offer a reprieve from our inner worlds.
Uncertainty, anxiety, worry for ourselves and others, existential pain for the world – these are truly emotions that are halved when shared. But beyond the simple act of having people there to share in our emotional burdens, there is the plain truth that humans are sociable creatures.
Physical and social #connection are essential elements of our wellbeing. They boost our endorphins, our oxytocin levels, and reduce cortisol, helping to regulate our moods and feelings for the best. So when we take these away, it’s like we’re facing the challenges of 2020 with half our armor, or half our arsenal of coping mechanisms.
The first and most crucial step is #self-compassion.
We’re living in strange, unfamiliar times. It’s okay not to feel great, especially if we’ve found ourselves isolated from our social worlds. We are not weak, and we are not dependent. We are not somehow incompetent, ‘less-than’ or unworthy because we are struggling. We are simply #human.
Knowing and understanding why we are struggling helps when identifying coping mechanisms. We need to give ourselves the #space to feel that worry for our loved ones, to miss the presence of our family and friends.
But we must also give ourselves the tools to recognize the uncontrolled thought-spirals and the ruminating. Externalizing these thoughts and feelings, even just to ourselves in a journal, video or audio recording, can help develop our awareness of the triggers and break the cycles.
We also need to #adapt. Don’t be afraid to email, text, call or video-call your people to get that social #uplift, even if it’s not necessarily the ideal way to engage with your loved ones.
Been thinking about someone or worried about their well being? Reach out. Check in. Connect and support. We are not alone.
* ᴅᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴀ ᴅᴇᴀʀ ꜰʀɪᴇɴᴅ *