Social Distancing NOT Emotional Distancing

The current global situation has us all on lockdown, self isolating, and/or social distancing. First off- what exactly is social distancing?

Social distancing or physical distancing is a set of nonpharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease.

So, effectively, keeping the fuck away from people.

As someone who absolutely despises others being in my personal space, I am all for this social distancing, and would encourage us to follow suit once this whole crisis has passed; kindly stay 2m away from me at all times. Since I’ve been social distancing though, I’ve learnt one thing: it is vital that we don’t practise emotional distancing too.

Right now, millions of us are laying low and staying at home, other than to get necessities from the shops, head to work if it’s crucial, or go out to get medicine/visit the doctors. We are isolating ourselves in our homes and limiting social interaction to the absolute bare minimum.

As someone who generally enjoys my own company and being in my own space, I haven’t yet found myself getting too lonely or bored. I’m used to it. However, I am having to consciously take action to keep myself busy, healthy, and occupied. It’s the perfect time for projects and hobbies, and I realised I hadn’t written a blog post in a fair while. When thinking about what to write, it was a little difficult coming up with a subject that wasn’t about the current global pandemic we find ourselves in, because frankly everything else seems trivial. I ain’t no expert on the matter though, clearly, and struggled to find something I could write about from my own personal viewpoint. Until I had to turn my phone onto silent because the beeping was getting too distracting. Then- lightbulb moment!

There is a vast difference between being alone and feeling lonely, and now is the time for us all to make sure we reach out and connect so that nobody in our lives spends this time feeling lonely and isolated. I have been so actively making contact with friends and family, reaching out to loved ones incessantly to check in on them, as they have with me. Countless messages on dealing with anxiety, sharing home workout videos, calls to family members just to hear their voices, and an abundance of memes.

No man is an island. Whether we’re virtually or physically with our loved ones, we are living in an age of technology that allows us to stay connected at all times and means that none of us need to be lonely.

Practising kindness and gratitude is always a sure fire way to make us feel closer to others, and now more than ever is the perfect time to implement this. Whether you are able to order a gift or groceries online to a family member who is in self isolation, or simply calling up a friend to tell them you were thinking of them and that made you happy. Who doesn’t want to know that they are loved or that somebody has gone out of their way to help them out, not seeking anything in return?

How beautiful a day can be, when kindness touches it!

George Elliston

Writing down a list of things you are grateful for in your life might not sound like much, but it’s a ruddy great way to highlight the things you value most and appreciate. Your health, your imagination, your Mum, your Dad, a roof over your head, Dairy Milk. No matter how big or how small, there is plenty that we are all grateful for and with so much time on our hands, let’s take just a hot minute to remind ourselves of them.

If we can all learn one thing from the current crisis, it is that all we really have is each other. How easy has it been for us to forego our nights out in fancy restaurants, our days at the beach, our monthly shopping sprees at the mall? However, it simply isn’t that easy to cease communication with our loved ones, because we are all leaning on each other to get through to the other side.

So keep practising social distancing, but reach out to your tribe and remind them that they ain’t alone. Here, have a few non-corona related memes to send on to them!

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