Updated: Oct 27, 2020
I belong to a spiritual community where I attend events, and occasionally volunteer. Through this community, I have found friends with common values and interests. For me, my sense of who I am is connected with my community. I feel a part of something more than myself.
We all have the need to have a sense of belonging and to be socially connected to others. In early childhood, we have the drive to attach to a caregiver and create a bond with them. This helps children develop and grow, and it nurtures their sense of self. Without a healthy attachment in early life, we may be more prone to mental health and relationship issues. A 75 year long ongoing study which follows people throughout their lives, the Harvard Grant Study, has found that people who are more socially connected to family, friends and their community are happier, healthier, and live longer.
Belongingness then is crucial to our mental and physical health. With more people working at home and fewer social events because of the pandemic, many of us may be losing that sense of connection to others. And yet at times of uncertainty and change such as these, we need connection now more than ever.
What We Can Do
Here are a few tips to help foster a sense of belonging and social connection during the pandemic.
Reach out to people in your life, in person if you are able to follow the Covid guidelines, or by telephone or video. I am continuing to stay connected with my spiritual community through online events, and meeting friends to do things together.
Do what you can to develop and nurture positive relationships with the people in your life. For more information, see my blogs on forgiveness, cultivating patience, kindness, active listening, showing appreciation, and vulnerability.
See what you can do to grow more social connections, through participating in groups doing things you are interested in or by taking courses. Although opportunities for doing group activities are limited with the pandemic, there are a lot of courses, many free, being offered online. There can be opportunities to chat or network in some of these courses.
If you are feeling down, or lonely and isolated, if you don’t have the motivation to connect with groups, or you are struggling with your personal relationships, I am available.
Call or email me for a free 15 minute consultation. https://www.oceantidescounselling.ca/contact-page