COVID-19 is definitely changing the way the world interacts, how we think, what we prioritize, and who we value as our preferred human beings. This term stood out to me while surfing the web the other night; struggling with some insomnia as the stressors around me, too, get heavier. For those of us who are introverts, this term rings true and in a nutshell describes the comfort found in our way of interacting with others. It’s also the reassurance of knowing that those we care about are doing alright. Right now this experience is severed for many of us. And I nod in sympathy to the extroverts that must be really suffering at their lack of direct in-person exchanges.
v. intr. feeling the tranquil pleasure of being near a gathering but not quite in it—hovering on the perimeter of a campfire, chatting outside a party while others dance inside, resting your head in the backseat of a car listening to your friends chatting up front—feeling blissfully invisible yet still fully included, safe in the knowledge that everyone is together and everyone is okay, with all the thrill of being there without the burden of having to be. Extract from: Koenig, J. The dictionary of obscure sorrows. Retrieved from http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/.
Some colleagues have emphasized the need to rephrase “social distancing” to “physical distancing” and I have to agree. We need social connections - as a species - it’s what gives us purpose and defines our place in society. With the virus guidelines in place, we must create workarounds. For those of use that utilize ACT, you may compare this to utilizing better psychological flexibility! Tech offers us many options - video chats, video messages, texting, emails, voice mails, online gaming, forums… the list goes on.
Here are some ideas for staying in touch with others while we hunker down in our safe spaces.
Facebook (& messenger)
Activities made virtual:
Words With Friends
And don’t forget, many of us have that Monopoly game in the basement or a deck of cards. Dust them off, along with a jigsaw puzzle, and gather with whoever you’re in quarantine with!
We’ll get through this. And we’ll do it, hopefully, with a remodeled perspective on what we value. <3