Social Distancing | How Is Social Distancing Making You Feel?
On Friday 03/13/20, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The virus that we all watched progressively cripple China, then ride a wave to the western hemisphere, has embedded itself in the U.S. I have compared the virus to a fictional invisible boogeyman, who you know is on his way, but what you don’t know is when he will arrive, and if he is coming for you!
In preparing for the arrival of this invisible boogeyman, I have witnessed a broad spectrum of reactions, from the nonchalant, head buried in the sand response, to the overreactive, hypervigilant response. Regardless of how individuals choose to react, we all are being asked to practice social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken by Public Health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease).
In just one week of practicing social distancing, I am starting to feel a little sense of rejection. I have encountered several interactions where individuals withdrew from me as if there had been an announcement that I had the Coronavirus. Researchers have found that social rejection can set off a wide range of emotions like anxiety, sadness, depression, and even anger. Researchers have also found that physical touch increases levels of dopamine and serotonin in the human body, and helps regulate your mood, as well as, help your body relieve stress and anxiety.
Let's be careful and loving, and not so dramatic when exercising our social distancing. There is no need to contort your face when doing your elbow or fist bumps. Your fist bump should not feel like a boxing jab, and your elbow bump should not feel like a karate chop! Let's get creative with how good we can make each other feel with our bumps! With everything that is going on, we all are going to need lots of warm smiles and positive vibes!