All humans are programmed to relate to one another. Some need more relatedness and connection in terms of direct contact with others, but it is a need we all have.
Many of us have been challenged to maintain the relationships with those we love and are closest to during the COVID pandemic. It was difficult to visit people important to us face to face. Whether we called it “social” or “physical distancing” knowing it was for our own good, it was tough. Guidelines suggested we avoid large events calling them “super spreader” events. Even those events celebrating birthdays, holidays and milestone events like weddings and graduations are suspended. Then came Thanksgiving and Christmas and we were still discouraged from face-to-face interactions.
Anxiety and depression rates climbed as a result of being apart from those we loved. Children and young adults were kept from their classmates. Masked faces kept us from seeing smiles and facial expressions, which validate and confirm our relatedness to one another. We were separated by all of this and more. There were no movies, concerts, sporting events and travel. Cities, States, Provinces and Countries began to draw strong boundaries to attempt to keep their citizens safe.
Even though safety was a major concern, there was and there continues to be a cost in distancing from others, especially those whom we care for and love. Our wellness was and continues to be compromised. So what did we do, what do we continue to do and how do we transition back to face-to-face meaningful connections?
What are the meaningful connections in your life?