Why staying connected matters

As world leaders, politicians, and economists debate about our economic recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes sense; after all, there is no debate that money is essential to us meeting our basic needs. However, we must also focus on rebuilding our human connections in these extraordinary times. Just as we need money to survive, we need social connections and a sense of community to thrive and grow on a personal level.

Internal connection check-in

During times of crisis, maintaining a sense of internal connection is critical to finding balance and building resiliency. Most people don’t realize that there are four ways to connect internally: Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. To maintain a genuine internal connection, we must check-in with all four of these areas. Remember that these check-ins are continuous and that you can easily move back and forth between quadrants whenever you want.

Physical: Physical self-connection is the one quadrant where simple acts of self-love can make a huge difference. Pay attention to how you’re physically showing up in the world. What are you wearing? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well?
Taking care of your physical self by eating and sleeping well, exercising, and even your personal grooming can positively influence how you view yourself and your circumstances. Listen to your body, and make sure that you’re nourishing and replenishing it as needed. 

Mental: This check-in requires you to actively focus on your thoughts. Start by tracking your thoughts throughout the day and pay attention to how many of them are positive, negative, about yourself, or about others. When you do have negative thoughts, try rephrasing them in a positive light. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m never going to understand this process, I should just give up”, try to shift your thoughts to “This is a new process for me, and it’s ok, I’m learning, and I’ll get it eventually.”

Emotional: When performing an emotional check-in, ask yourself how you are feeling and, when possible, try to focus on the source of your emotions. For instance, if you’re feeling frustrated by a progress on a work project, take a moment to process what’s behind this emotion. Are you frustrated by a lack of control? Or a lack of funding, resources, or time? What are some things that you can do to address and process the root causes of your emotions in a healthy way?

Spiritual: This quadrant involves listening to your inner voice, discovering who you are, and connecting with the world. As part of this check-in, ask yourself “what are my morals and values?” and “what is my purpose?”
Don’t worry if you don’t have the answers right away; the intent of asking yourself these questions is to increase your awareness of and develop a connection with your spiritual self.

Using your connections to help manage stress

Once you’ve completed these check-ins, you’ll have a better sense of your own internal connections, and how you can harness these connections to help you process, manage, and resolve feelings of stress or anxiety. When the COVID pandemic finally loosens its grasp on our world, we’ll be looking to our leaders and governments to lead our financial stability and begin our economic recovery. Let’s also be sure to remember to focus on rebuilding our sense of connection, both with externally and internally. In the long run, this may be just as critical to society’s wellbeing as our economic recovery.