You are doing a brilliant thing by staying home; you are saving lives. But knowing this does not help when you crave for human connection. We are built to socialize, and some days can seem so very long.
We need to keep connected to others, so it is great that we have our phones. But plain old conversations can quickly run dry. We are all pretty much in it together, so our experiences overlap; once we have established which Netflix series we have caught up on, and which home-baked recipe we have tried (and failed at), there isn’t much more to say. There is a danger that we will bore the pants off each other (assuming we are wearing pants…and the likelihood is, we aren’t).
So let’s try and establish a new way of connecting with each other. We need to include faces and voices in our connection because these give us the richness of variation. Without a face and a voice, how can we watch for facial cues, and how can we hear the nuances in different tones of voice. There are so many shades of emotion that can be expressed in a simple ‘Hello’.
So we need things like Zoom and Facetime and Google Hangout. But once we are on there, staring at each other, ready to hear what is on offer, what then? Here are some ideas –
Glazing over the cracks
We are dealing with so much right now, that our eyes are bound to glaze over. Other people have called this ‘numbing out’, and it is a survival instinct. If we tried to process everything that we are experiencing, we might become overwhelmed. So, in a way, it helps us. But it only helps in the short-term.
Eventually, we need to shake ourselves free and become aware of the present moment. To help with this, start gently. Just notice your breathing, and then widen your attention to different parts of your body. Eventually, you will be able to widen your attention to your surroundings and start to become aware of more and more of the present moment.
There are mindfulness exercises to help with this ability to just ‘notice’. And the key thing is to just notice without judging yourself. Just accept your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. On my Audio Therapy page, you will find lots of free mindfulness exercises. https://www.exploretransform.com/audio-therapy.html
Another therapist, Licia Sky, also offers free online resources, and here is a link to just one of her offerings called Widening the Walls of Perception: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-I2uR6Axq0
Let me know if you have found others that you prefer. We are all in this together!
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, (Licensed Professional Counselor), New Jersey (USA) and the UK