Connecting in the new ‘social distancing’ world

So I woke up super early this morning, which I must say is not my favorite thing to do lol. I just commented to someone last week that the only time I like that is when it involves heading to the airport to travel overseas. Who’d have thought that would be taken off the list of holiday options. We are in shifting sands globally at the moment, but I have such a sense of peace within my heart. So, here we are and I have been stirred again to start writing, so here goes 😬

I noticed the term ‘social distancing’ is now a thing. But with the talk of distance now part of our every hour language I have been thinking how vital it is to be connected (not talking about breaking rules or being cavalier against medical advice … so calm your farm 😆). What I’m taking about is not being passive and wandering through this season, but jumping in boots and all and finding and embracing new ways of connection.

So hear are my wake me up, early morning musings …

1. Be present – even though you may not be able to be face to face you can still make yourself emotional present in the moment. Take a risk and share vulnerably with your close ones so that you can support each other in these interesting times.

2. Be hopeful- here in Australia you overhear conversations in the supermarket about current situations reminding people of when they lived in communist countries. But if you listen long enough you hear, ‘but we survived on nothing’. Most of us are still very well resources (except maybe for having to use a fewer sheets of toilet paper🙄). Do not miss the point hovering in the 2ply…. we are situated to not just survive but to thrive because we live in an age when connection is only limited to your imagination. So Skype, zoom, slack, Facebook message a friend and bring some hope.

3. Be kind – There is more than enough to go around if we again embrace some Aussie Mateship and start sharing and doing this together. Heed the words of Prime Minister Scott Morrison in regards to hoarding…

Stop hoarding,” he said. “I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behavior in response to this crisis.”1.

For anyone who saw the video, he seriously sounds like a dad telling you off when he had come home from work and discovered you’d refused to listen to mum (Hoping he doesn’t decide to send us all to our rooms for such silly behavior 🤔🙄).

He even thru in the line it’s “unaustralian”, which is a massive slap down. But seriously there is much to be hopeful and positive about, even in our shifting situations. Bring some fun, love, and joy to your encounters. Be deliberate in spreading kindness

4. Be joy – okay, we are in unknown times, sure, but remember that God is still known. He is still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So my side point is fall into Him. I say that because, for some, unknown situations can increase stress and then the first thing to pack up and walk out the door is joy.

It is important to have a laugh and bring some smiles to each other at the moment. We need to be able to shift and break any negative and circulating thinking that is bringing us down and depressing us. It is important to monitor what you are allowing to influence you at the moment. So limit what’s not healthy to you. So if, social media news clips of panicked buying people scare you- stop watching it. If people making COVID-19 memes and videos and laughing to deal with the situation annoys you because you think they are making light of the situation don’t watch them. But also understand for some people that’s how they deal with stressful situations. To remove what is not good for you, but withhold judgment on others as they may just need to laugh in the face of adversity.

Laughter is great medicine, now I have Mary Poppins singing in my head “a spoonful of sugar…” which was not my point 😂.

I’m currently smirking at the silliness of word association and how my brain ticks (ok focus ER ). We’ve always needed joy. Nothing new in that, but I’m saying you have permission to have joy, to have a laugh- in fact, you really have permission to have a lot of laughs and joy.

5. Be intentional – if you want to know how someone is going… ask specifically, not rudely, not forcefully, not pryingly but intentionally. In whatever method of communication you are using be unmistakably clear, but check-in. If you are concerned they are battling with isolation (an extrovert’s nightmare) ask something like… you’re normally the life of the party, hows it going knowing the party only has 4 people allowed in this space today? Or how’s working from home going… missing the office banter?

That’s just one Teeny tiny example of being intentional. Show people that you care, have heard them and know them by intentionally being connected and engaged.

6. Be discerning – this has numerous applications. I feel like we said, watch what you let in and feed yourself on social media, etc. But just in case you missed it 🤔😆avoid conspiracy theories and fear-mongering at the moment. It’s never really been helpful, so the same is true now😉.

More so, I’m thinking be discerning about how people around you are tracking. If they are normally loud yet are quiet then pay attention. If they are usually quiet and all of a sudden they are the life of the party… umm 🤔 ask yourself has this happened before? Is this normal for them? Observe what’s going on, look out for each other and discern when you might need to show some extra care and love. And then connect.

So in this ever-changing world, all I can say is enjoy the ride. For me this week has been a doozy (even without COVID -19) but I’ve done it with the best people. And that really is amazing!

So here’s to getting back to basics and learning to connect in a socially distant world.

Until next time

Happy pondering x

1. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/18/pm-tells-australians-to-stop-hoarding-as-he-announces-sweeping-measures-to-slow-spread-of-coronavirus

Republished with permission. First Published on sozotalk.wordpress.com on 21 March 2020

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