Why Relational Connection Is So Important During the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Social distancing” is a public health practice that increases the physical distance between individuals in order to reduce the risk that sick people infect healthy people through disease transmission. It includes large-scale measures such as canceling group events and closing public spaces, and individual practices such as maintaining a six-foot distance from other individuals.
  • Quarantine” is separating and restricting the movement of people who have been potentially or actually exposed to a contagious disease for a period of time and watching to see if they become sick.
  • Isolation” is separating sick people who have a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • increase vulnerability to other stressors,
  • cause a more intense reaction to negatives,
  • reduce the emotional boost of positives,
  • contribute to greater feelings of helplessness and threat,
  • decrease sleep quality, and
  • diminish willpower to exercise and eat healthy.
  • We do this by making sure we are connecting with people who energize us. Each day, schedule phone calls or video calls online with people you enjoy. Take virtual coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon while connecting on a video call. Schedule a call each evening with relatives and friends who may need connection. This is a good time to take the initiative and reconnect with friends from your childhood or college days who you may have lost touch with over the years.
  • Also, be sure to get adequate sleep, exercise (check out exercise videos on YouTube) and eat healthy. When we are stressed or lonely, these practices often get pushed aside. (Why make a salad when the potato chips are so handy?)

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