In March 2020 our world was changed immeasurably by a pandemic. My life was also devastated by a mental breakdown. I was scared, very anxious and depressed. Having narrowly avoided being sectioned under the Mental Health Act I locked myself away and did not go out of the house for many weeks.
This badly damaged my social connections. It is only now with improvement of my mental health and the lifting of Covid restrictions that I am beginning to socialise again. I have discovered the hard way how important these connections are.
It was only a few months ago that I tentatively took the first steps to meeting socially and that was simply having lunch with my wife and two friends at their retirement home. A little while later my wife dropped the bombshell. We had received an invitation to a friends birthday party!
Suddenly I was facing the prospect of going from little social contact to meeting family and other friends at a party! For about 3 hours! I felt some anxiety as it was a venture into unknown new Covid territory.
When we arrived mid afternoon most of the guests had arrived. A few I knew but there were about 10 that I had not seen before. The birthday girl (?) made introductions and I began to talk to familiar faces. The party ventured outside followed by food and drinks. I started talking to strangers with surprising ease. Nothing too deep but one gent was greatly interested in my Mental Health!
About 3 hours later we said our goodbyes with smiles on our faces and I had a warm glow inside. I had conversed with several other people for a long period. It happened easily and I was amazed!
So why am I telling you all this? Because I learnt a big lesson that day. The need for other people. It seems obvious but you may not realise how important it is. A study showed that lack of social connection was more detrimental to your health than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
Connection keeps us in the game that is life; to feel we are not alone and our existence matters. You have a basic need to understand and be understood. When people meet and make a good connection there is an exchange of positive energy. Just a smile, just an hello, is all it takes to make that initial link.
There are of course many other ways of making human connection but nothing beats a face to face meeting. Although Moodscope comes a close second!
So how do you stay well connected?
A Moodscope member.
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