by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief
Feeling connected, whether through personal contact or virtual, is so important to our mental health and overall wellbeing. The pandemic made connection a bit of a challenge, but most of us learned how to navigate new technologies and made an effort to connect with others.
Now that we have started to emerge from the pandemic isolation, we can actually feel a bit weird re-acclimatizing to in-person connection. Some people are feeling anxious about venturing out in public, while others aren’t quite ready to make the leap just yet.
No matter where you are on this spectrum — it’s OK! You have to go at your own pace, just like with any other sort of recovery (emerging from the pandemic is likened to a form of recovery). You have to be willing to set boundaries for yourself, and communicate them with those you love to let them understand what you want from them, or how you want to interact with them.
Many survivors struggle with asking for help or expressing what they need. But it is critical if you wish to move forward. Whether verbal, written, or even drawn in pictures, the objective is to help others help you feel comfortable.
Moral of the story: It’s important to feel connected with others, but it is equally as important to communicate clear instructions for how you wish to connect. Nobody can read your mind … and it’s absolutely OK to ask for assistance.