Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Disconnection
We live in the Seattle area of the United States, which is where the Corona-virus first appeared in our country. For several weeks we have had time to make healthy choices and adapt to this new world, including canceling some of our programs and going virtual for others.
We are witnessing extreme disruption to all aspects of life and it is a pretty disorienting time for everyone. In one way this global challenge feels like it happened over night and it is natural to feel like a Victim to the Persecuting virus. At one level there is no denying that people are experiencing victimization economically, psychologically, and in many other ways—some more severely than others.
The first of the 3 Vital Questions is “Where are you putting your focus?” The default way to look at life is through a problem-focused, fear and anxiety-based, and reactive mindset.
In the problem mindset it is easy to see how panicked buying and hoarding occurs, even when advised to self-quarantine and “shelter in place.” We are also told to practice “social distancing” as an important way to reduce the spread of infection from one person to another.
However, social distancing does NOT mean social disconnection.
Reaching out to stay connected with others is probably the number one thing you can do to support your emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being. And doing so is indicative of a more positive mindset that is outcome-oriented, passion-based, and about taking empowered action.
Fear is the emotion that fuels the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) while love, kindness, and appreciation are the emotions that fuel TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic). At this extraordinary time in history we are being asked to be our best selves, to step into our Creator essence and true self.
In the past week, we have been heartened by the many ways people are connecting with others through phone calls, texts, and online gatherings to support one another. We also hear and experience stories of family, friends, and neighbors offering assistance, while still maintaining physical “social distance.” In addition, others who can are taking the time to connect to the great outdoors, walking, hiking, or just sauntering around the neighborhood.
Here are a few things we recommend for you to compassionately connect with yourself and others:
- Tell the truth about the current reality of this pandemic. Rather than focusing on blame, resisting, or trying to control things not in your control, surrender to the truth of this situation, even though there is much we don’t understand or know.
- Self-care is world care. Take responsibility for your self-care, which will help build your immune system by getting adequate sleep and nourishing food. Without a self-care plan there’s a higher risk of succumbing to fear and the DDT, which only feeds the same in others.
- Avoid drama conversations. One “social distance” we heartily recommend is to not engage in “ain’t it awful” exchanges, gossip, or passing on stories of doom and gloom.
- Be intentional about reaching out and connecting. Each morning ask yourself, “Who can I connect with today?”
- Share what you are grateful for, when you do connect. When others hear your gratitude list it helps evoke a positive feeling in them. Ask what they are grateful for. A gratitude practice will train your mind to look for the good, rather than feed the fear.
- Focus on what brings you joy and creates nourishing moments. When your heart sings there’s little room for fear.
- Above all be kind, patient, and compassionate. We have no idea what is going on in the life of others, so let’s give each other a break!
Our world has suddenly shifted from “How can I get ahead?” to “We all need to support one another.” This is a hopeful and monumental shift!
While it seems impossible now, the virus may be a disrupting force that supports us all to slow down, be intentional about what is important, and teaches us to connect in new and more meaningful ways.
Social connecting as Co-Creators is more vital than ever.