May day Mayday!
I think May first will have a whole new meaning for many of you. As we venture into this first phase of reopening, I want to remind you that you still have to take precautions. COVID19 is not gone but with your due diligence of washing your hands and keeping your distance you can help keep this from spiking again. Please, Please, Please – if you wear a mask do NOT touch it with your hands if you have touched anything at all. If you have gloves and reuse them, wash them just like you would wash your hands -take them off and allow to dry and then wash your hands again. People are contaminating themselves with improper technique of using their masks and gloves!
I had a perfectly appropriate geeky COVID19 post on cytokine storm and the Nrf2 pathway planned but after an experience I had this weekend I am going to postpone that blog. This weekend I had a friend who turned 50 years old. Instead of a big party we lined up in our cars and did a honking, waving, drive-by happy birthday party for her. Seeing her out on her driveway you could see she was deeply touched by the show of love and support. I found myself with tears streaming down my cheek at the realization of just how important social connection is. How important it is to feel connected, loved & supported. These last few weeks of quarantine have been exceptionally difficult and I hear it daily when talking to my patients. You are not alone if you are feeling this way. We thrive on connection and isolation can rob us easily of all of those feel good emotions it elicits. There are three important ways to connect.
- Social connection
- Social connection is a core psychological need. Studies show when we feel isolated our immune systems decline. There are often more health issues as a result. We are wired to connect and it is thru some basic ways of communication using our intonation of our voice, our facial expressions and touch that we feel the most connected. Even though many of us are connecting with zoom for fun and business, it has been a challenge because those cues are harder to pick up. If you are on zoom or video conferences all day it can be exhausting to bring the level of connection that you want with that interaction. We need to release the expectation that it is going to be the same and accept it for the blessing it is – a way to connect.
- Nature connection
- Today is a new day. It is a beautiful spring day. The birds are nesting on their eggs, ducklings abound, flowers are starting to peek out and bud. Nature can have positive impacts on our whole being even if you are just viewing pictures of nature. Viewing nature has been shown to lead to many positive emotions improving our physical well-being and making us feel more connected.
- Self connection
- I know you are probably thinking you have had enough of yourself but have you taken this opportunity to reflect on your life? Maybe this is the time to figure out what is working for you and make it better as well as releasing what is not. Taking care of yourself and making your health a priority is a way to connect with yourself. Tools can be meditation, journaling, exercising or spiritual guidance to name a few. With so many self-help books out there, you can find one to help you with your specific journey.
We NEED to feel connected. We CRAVE connection. Today I want you to plan a connection outing. Maybe it is sitting on your back porch really focusing on all that nature is offering you at that moment. Maybe try meditating. Perhaps if you feel comfortable, call a friend and meet outside sitting 6 feet apart and laugh. Just connect!
You are important. You are loved. I am thinking of you right now as I write this and telling you there is hope. We are all in this together and you are not alone.
To your health,