Being Kinder Than Usual
Human beings are wired for social attachment. Connecting with other humans is a necessary part of human development. It calms the nervous system and creates a sense of wellbeing.
However, during the COVID pandemic, connecting with other people has become a threat to our physical safety. It’s completely upside down and backward in terms of our social development, and is causing huge issues with anxiety and mental health.
We wear masks out in public, preventing us from seeing other people’s facial expressions. We can’t enjoy a smile from a stranger, the way we once did.
We keep our distance of six feet from other people.
We don’t shake hands or hug as we once did.
Being near other people is no longer safe; now it brings an element of danger. Our nervous systems just don’t know how to handle this new information, and many of us are feeling a deep sense of loss over the basic experience of connecting with others.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to feel whatever sense of connectedness with others we can.
Offer a compliment or thanks to someone in your life, even if you don’t know them well.
Make eye contact as you walk past someone, and say a friendly “hello” from behind your mask.
Learn how to smile with your eyes and eyebrows, and share these modified smiles freely with strangers from behind your mask.
Ask someone how they’re feeling, and stick around to really hear the answer.
We are in this together.
Be kinder than you need to be. It’s a win-win: not only does it make the other person/people feel good, but it gives YOU yourself some semblance of attachment, connection, and warmth during these unprecedentedly disconnected times we are living in.
Jen Larsen, CPC, RYT500, is a certified professional life coach and certified registered yoga teacher. For over a decade, she has helped people light their inner glow and achieve their fullest potential. Jen can be reached by phone at 407-757-5343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her on the web at www.lightyourinnerglow.com, or on Facebook or Instagram @lightyourinnerglow .