Question: What have you done to increase social connection during Covid-19?
What is social connectedness? Why is it important?
Social connection in psychology is based upon the perception of social support. You can have tons of people around you, but still feel alone. You can also be alone but feel supported and connected to loved ones. It is the feeling of closeness and connectedness to a community. It is rooted in feelings of belonging, love and common values. Humans are innately social creatures. Every person we interact with is forever part of our social network. They are family members, friends, coworkers, teammates, neighbors, and acquaintances. Each has a lasting impact on our physical and mental health.
During this unique time of social distancing, it is imperative that we do not completely disconnect with one another. In fact, it is critical now than ever to “virtually” come together. Ongoing research supports the positive health benefits of social connectedness.
Engaging with your network and partaking in activities are proven to have the following health benefits:
- Longer life.
- Stronger immune system.
- Improved memory and cognitive skills.
- Increased motivation for self-care.
- Lower levels of stress hormones.
By making some small positive actions, you can increase your brain's awareness of social support and feel more connected to others.
Thinking Points - How Socially Connected Is Your Family?
Give each family member a jar or similar receptacle to decorate. Once they are decorated, set these out on a bookshelf or mantle. Place note cards near the jars and encourage your family members to drop gratitude messages and encouraging words into one another’s jars throughout the coming month.
Every once in awhile it’s important to remind your entire family to stop and smell the roses. One great way to remind them of the little things in life they enjoy is through a gratitude scavenger hunt!
3. Daily Good News Sharing
Having a daily family sharing practice is a great tool for building connection. Sharing one (or more) things that are going well not only makes for a positive conversation but also helps us each – individually – grow our gratitude muscle. Sharing about what we’re grateful for can be at dinner, on the car ride to school, at bedtime, or whatever time works best with your family’s schedule. Just make it a daily habit and everyone will get used to it.