Confession time. I’m pretty sure I had a few bouts of mild depression on and off this summer. COVID can sure do that to you! %#&$
I was in a dark mood and consumed by anxiety. I lost interest in activities that had once given me pleasure. I cried at the drop of a hat, had trouble sleeping, lost energy, and had an overall feeling of worthlessness. Most of all I felt isolated and alone. It.was.awful.
Can you relate?
Bumper Car Interactions
Sure I was hopping on Zoom calls, texting with friends, having FaceTime with family, direct messaging friends on social media, but those things only seemed like bumper car interactions — lots of bump-and-go surface level interaction — but nothing meaty and deep that I was craving.
I was using all sorts of tech devices for communicating, but I wasn’t connecting. There’s a big difference!
Encounters and Engagements
The definition of communication is to exchange or share information, feelings or opinions.
The definition of connection on the other hand is to make a link between two people, the forming of a relationship.
- Communication is full of encounters.
- Connection is full of engagement
- Communication can be very surface level and an inch deep.
- Connections can be miles deep.
- Communication is transmitting information using our head (brain).
- Connection is receiving using our heart.
There’s nothing that can take the place of face-to-face eye contact, touching, expressive body language, and heart to heart conversations.
COVID-19 has changed the way we engage with people.
We’ve been told to maintain a distance of 6 feet between ourselves and others. This by itself can especially leave us feeling socially isolated.
In the midst of this solitude and isolation intrusive thoughts-I call them pesky little ants– like depression, despair, fear, unworthiness, and so many more can fill our mind.
Now more than ever, it’s so important to not let these “ants” have their way. You and I must make it a point to not believe everything we think!
So…here’s an antidote for isolation, despair, and intrusive thoughts.
Connecting with friends from the past and renewing relationships that, for whatever reason, were put to the wayside.
Be Willing to Be Vulnerable
Here’s the deal thought-you have to be willing to put yourself out there.
Instead of waiting for people to come to you and connect you go to them. Allow others to know you fully: your thoughts, feelings, challenges, weaknesses. It can be scary to show those sides to people out of fear of being judged, but this is how true friendship connection is achieved. Be willing to be exposed to the possibility of being disappointed by a lack of empathy or understanding or possible betrayal of confidence.
Ready. Set. GO!
There isn’t a better time to reconnect then right now. Be brave. Be willing to be vulnerable. Go through your phone contacts and call people you’ve lost touch with. Continue those relationships you had before covid. Don’t let them die.
- Hosting a front yard gathering with 3 or 4 friends.
- Going to a dog park with another pet owner.
- Setting up a “deck date” between you and 2 or 3 other couples.
- Finding an exercise partner and going hiking.
- Joining a book club with 2-3 friends and gathering at a local coffee house or home to discuss.
- Meeting a few friends at an outdoor patio for happy hour.
*Be safe and mindful. Wear a mask and don’t gather in large groups.
Sweet Friend, don’t let another day go by with you in a dark mood or feeling alone and depressed Life is too short to be wasted on that!
QUESTION: What are some ways that you’ve kept positive connections during this difficult time?
“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.” Tennessee Williams