As we enter month 12 of the pandemic, you may find yourself feeling isolated and alone, you may even find yourself struggling to connect with people. After almost a year of isolation, struggling to make personal connections is completely normal. Some of you may even have moved during this last year, which would truly leave you struggling to connect with your new home.
As we prepare to enter the world again, we may feel frustration with the continued limitations or feel as though things should be progressing faster than they are. No matter how eager we are to connect, catch up, and form new relationships, we must focus on remaining safe and keeping others safe, this must always be our first priority. Yet even with a focus on safety we can begin to reach out and reconnect.
Social media is a great place to connect with others. Through Facebook Messenger Rooms you can virtually meet with friends and family. While an online conversation is not the same as a face-to-face, it is better than a phone conversation, email, or text message. The important thing to remember is that no matter how you reach out and connect with others the goal is to connect.
As restrictions are lifted and we can once again resume our normal lives, look for places to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to pursue a passion, learn a new skill, gain new experiences, and connect with others. Joining a civic group, social group, or book club are other great ways to connect and meet new people, especially new people with similar interests. While our small talk skills may be a bit rusty, working on a project with someone allows us to connect and get to know each other without the small talk. Playgroups our children attend and church are also great places to connect with people.
Returning to our more social lives will be an exciting experience for us all. As you meet people, make goals for yourself, but do not place pressure on yourself that you must connect with someone. It is going to take time for us to remember how, and to feel safe to connect with others. Placing goals to connect allows you to move at your pace. Remember, there is no requirement to connect with a certain number of people a day. Rather, focus on creating quality connections, on really getting to know people. Quality is always better than quantity.