Healthy Mind, Healthy You: Keeping Connected in a New Normal

Healthy Mind, Healthy You is a weekly column written by Mental Wellness Coach Cynthia M. Each week, she will share insight on how you can be live a healthier life. You can read previous articles from this column here.

The holidays are usually the easiest time to plan outings and holidays with family or friends. We love to travel and meet up during this time and enjoy the festivities with those we care about the most. Unfortunately, 2020 has been changing things around and gatherings have been affected the most. In some places like Zimbabwe – where I live – gatherings are not completely restricted anymore, but the numbers have been limited a whole lot. In other places in the world they are contemplating going back into lock-down or canceling gatherings. It’s been a tough year for social interactions.

It’s one thing having to work remotely but doing birthdays, weddings and all other celebratory gatherings virtually is not easy. Now that we have to be in a new normal, I have some tips that could work for us to stay connected and feel somehow closer to our loved ones.

Call often

I don’t know what your specific travel situation is like, but if you won’t be able to travel to loved ones, keep calling them. They may be video calls or audio calls, whatever the case, call often. The more often you speak, you find your bond is stronger because you are aware of what is happening with the next person. Yes, sometimes we want to be in each other’s physical space but if it’s not possible right now, we will have to settle for many calls. Whether they are lengthy or short, keep talking to your loved ones. Hearing their voice can have a soothing and comforting effect on you.

Send something

We may not be meeting up, but we can still do secret Santa over the mailing services or do drop-offs if you are able to drive by their house. I remember when we had lock-down and people organised a lot of drive-through baby showers, birthdays etc. It was different and we didn’t have the interaction we would’ve wanted, but the whole process made us feel closer. Even though gifts were being dropped off without the actual party happening, we still felt connected to our loved ones.

Do socials

Most people who were not great at social media and where inactive have found great communities to connect with in this time. As people started connecting with other like minded people online, it was great for making new friendships and discovering people who could be another source of great company and emotional support in this time. Being able to connect with the right people online means you have expanded your social circle and people who you can reach out to in times of need.

Be mindful in interactions

Many of the times we interact we don’t always pay attention to how everything is going.  I would encourage you to be more conscious about your interactions with people. When you are mindful about the time you spend with people, you are more conscious and present in the moment. This makes interactions more meaningful and fulfilling.

I hope that as you find more creative ways of spending time with those you care for, so your holidays are full of life and great memories. Times are different and there are changes to our traditions, but we can still get to enjoy this time.

Until next time remember, when you change your thinking, you can change your life.

Cynthia M is a Mental Wellness Coach trained in Psychology. She works with different individuals and groups to help them establish a more balanced state of emotional well-being so they can experience a better quality of life.

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