Happy March! The map out of lockdown has been revealed! However, until then, it’s still vital we maintain our connection with others and ourselves. Building on from our Instagram post, here are some more ways to stay connected.
Reach out to a friend👋
I think people believe they need to schedule out an hour to speak to someone. Really, it could be a quick call to see how someone is whilst you’re on a walk or washing the dishes. I have started texting people every evening, asking ‘What’s the best thing that happened to you today?’. The key thing I’ve noticed, is how sometimes the simplest things like having a shower or getting to bed early are the best things in our day. It can be refreshing and uplifting (for you and others) to reflect and think about all the good things that happened that day – things that would otherwise go unnoticed!
Join a virtual club/event 🤳🏽
With the lockdown stopping us from our ‘normal’ ways of connecting, such as at home, at the pub or by going out to eat, we’ve had to become more creative of how we can do this. Thanks to technology, we can recreate these experiences online – either by set up a weekly coffee morning with your friends or family, where you all come together for a coffee and a catch up or organising a pub quiz with your friends! It is testing times, but it is also as important as ever to engage in meaningful, social activities. What’s one of your favourite activities that you could recreate to an online experience?
Speak to someone you don’t know🙋🏻
Studies show that we commonly mis predict how pleasant we believe this kind of interaction will be. In a 2014 study, where they asked some people to speak and connect with a stranger on the train to work and asked others to purposely keep to themselves. The ‘connection’ group predicted a decrease in positive feelings, and those in the ‘solitude’ group predicted an increase. In fact, the outcomes were the exact opposite! Those who were asked to connect with someone saw an increase in positive feelings, and those who were asked to stay to themselves saw a decrease in positive feelings. This could be saying hello to the bus driver, interacting with the cashier at your local supermarket, or attending one of our events!
Try something new 🤞🏼
I believe during the first lockdown last year, there was a lot pressure and emphasis on using your newfound time “wisely and productively”. But really, not having a ‘lockdown project’ is perfectly fine. However, there is no harm in trying new things for the sake of it. It doesn’t need to go anywhere; you do not need to produce anything to show of it except for how it made you feel. What’s one thing you’ve wanted to try but felt too scared to do or never have? Maybe you’ve wanted to make DIY soap, try meditation or watch all the Fast and Furious movies? It doesn’t need to be anything big or taxing on your energy.
What is one way you can help others? It could be buying your elderly neighbour some groceries to save them going out, donating old clothes or giving someone the gift of listening and your company. Being generous can bring about the ‘helper’s high’, experiencing an uplifting feel that comes from doing a good deed or act of kindness. It has been associated with feelings of warmth and euphoria, decreased stress and lowered blood pressure (Dossey, 2018). Has anyone done anything generous for you recently? What’s one way you could be generous today?
Listen to your body🥰
It’s just as important to connect with yourself, as it is to connect with others. What is your body telling you? Maybe you’re feeling bored, and need to engage in a fun activity, like knitting or baking. Maybe your body is feeling tight – take some time to go for a 10 minute walk up and down your road. Maybe you don’t know what you’re feeling, take some time to journal or speak with someone you trust to explore this. What is your body saying to you right now? Find a way to show yourself some love and be your own best friend.
Take some time out for yourself🥰
With the pandemic, there is higher demand and expectation to stay connected with others. But sometimes, we need some time to ourselves. Giving ourselves some love and time in solitude (as cheesy as that may sound), is necessary. Research has shown it can allow our brain to reboot and unwind after constant stimulation, improve concentration, spark creativity, learn about ourselves and enhance the quality of our relationships. We need to recharge and fill our own cup, before we can give to and help others. What is one way you can take some time out for yourself tomorrow?
I hope that reading this post has piqued your interest in some way, given you something to think about and maybe even spark a meaningful discussion – either with yourself or someone else! If you haven’t already, I would recommend rereading the post, taking a pause at the end of each point and having a think about the questions asked! How are you staying connected this March? I would love to know so please comment below!