Such an interesting time in our culture, if you can see past the fear and uncertainty. People are responding to the current COVID-19 crisis in so many different ways. Some feel the world is overreacting and so carry on with life as usual. Some are sure the world is ending and hunkering down in their bunkers. Most seem to be taking it seriously enough to stay home more, limit unnecessary trips, work from home if they are able, and are ordering everything from groceries to toilet paper online. A curious thing I noticed today is that people are acting more “Canadian”. What I mean by that is without the distractions of work, or sports, or working out, etc., we are being more of our friendly, compassionate, kind, Canadian selves.
I was out for a walk on the river with my wife today…along with all of the town it seemed. Usually the paths are nearly empty but not today. In terms of “Social Distancing”, people are being physically distant from each other, but are actually being more social. People are saying hello to each other, smiling at each other, being polite to each other, making a point to connect in a different way it seems. Of course we are keeping our distance from each other, and being careful, but there is definitely more of an intention to be friendly.
Same with cross-country skiing this afternoon…people are giving each other physical space but intentionally interacting in ways that have become less…usual. Physical space sure but actually diminishing the emotional space between us.
I find this quite refreshing actually…perhaps an upside to the otherwise taxing and stressful, not to mention, life and death for some, time we are living through. We are connecting emotionally in ways that, at our core, we are desperate for.
Emotional connectedness has been well established in the psychological literature to shore up our overall mental health. It is the antidote to loneliness which can lead to depression.
All humans want to be close to others. We need relationships that provide closeness and support. We want to give and receive love. An emotional connection occurs between people when there is an exchange of feelings and a bond is formed. We can have connections with family, friends or people in our communities..with even a simple wave, head-nod or hello.
Let’s remember to be as Canadian as we can in this time of social distancing. To care for, be kind to, and look out for one another.