Social Distancing & Anxiety

Social distancing is 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.

Is this really the new normal?

The term social distancing might have been around for decades but it is one that I have never had to use.  I’ve already enjoyed being with people.  Socializing is part of my upbringing and who I am.  Honestly, I did not know this term even existed until we got hit by the Coronavirus.

In my humble educated opinion, social distancing is a nicer way of saying anti-social or stay out of my face.  Perhaps overly simplified and incorrect, but we are being told to stay clear of people – all for the right reasons of course.

The introverts are celebrating alone in their basements and designer apartments, surrounded by their chihuahua, or some other small pet.  For them, being loners was their normal environment and they felt uncomfortable being in crowds.

It is suddenly cool to be alone and avoid social interaction.

However, it can be almost impossible to implement social distancing in your daily activities.  Whether we want to or not, we depend and interact with people all the time; when shopping, when working; when at the gym, when at cultural events; at school concerts … it is all around us and we don’t hesitate to seek out these events.

We are only truly alone, or just with a loved one when we prepare to go to bed.  Kids are tucked in, clothes ready and the dog has been out.  Only at that moment do we seek solitude.

Even when we seek solitude due to sadness after an event that occurred, we cannot be alone.  Not because we do not want to, but because people seek you out to make sure that you are ok and they look after your emotional needs.

To be suddenly thrown into mandatory isolation from friends, family, colleagues may trigger anxieties and challenges our ability to fill the day with other activities.

A sudden gap or void appears.  Like a sinkhole swallowing up a house, it gnaws at our instincts to go out to mingle.  We crave social interaction, even if it just a simple handshake.

Working from home due to statewide guidelines and curfew.  Being homeschooled due to school closure.  Confined to your house or apartment.  It is truly difficult to accept.

Granted, it has only been a few days into the confinement, and we are still sane.  However, we do not know how long this will last.

It is during these times that we realize what we grave, but also appreciate what we have even more.  Spending time with loved ones is awesome – hard at times – and we learn new ways to interact and support each other.

Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes distress or anxiety
✅ Seek information only from trusted sources
✅ Seek information updates at certain times of the day
✅ Get the facts, not the rumors and misinformation

As long as we have each other, and the fact that we do this for the right reasons, to save others, is noble and a small sacrifice we should be willing to do.

We can do this!

You can do this!

Remember, we have access to the internet, phones, emails, text messages and all kinds of social tools, we just need to reach out to people around us and talk that way instead.

Now we can celebrate and appreciate the social tools that we thought were killing social interaction.

We need to have faith and pray that this will pass over soon.  There’s light at the end of the tunnel.  God will look after us if we put our faith in him.

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