It is no secret that COVID-19 has affected us in many ways, including taking a toll on our social health. Social health can be defined as our ability to interact with others and form meaningful relationships. While we may not be able to interact with our friends and family like we used to, that does not mean we cannot find new ways to connect.
One of my favorite things is receiving and sending cards. When I was in college, my grandmother would send me a card almost every week, and I would tack them on my wall or around my window frame so I could see them anytime I needed a pick me up. Those cards meant that someone was thinking of me and cheering me on during difficult times. I have kept most of those cards and have them stored in a special place, so when I am feeling down, I can pull a stack out and reminisce about that fun time.
I share this story because letter writing feels like a lost art form these days with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat readily available at our fingertips. However, that instantaneous joy we get from a “like” or new snap does not last as long as the joy I get from a handwritten note or letter. My challenge for you during this difficult time is send a “thinking of you” card to a friend or family member – even if you ‘see them every day on social media’- I bet that you reaching out would make their day.
If letter writing is not your speed, try calling that friend or family member. There does not have to be “a reason” for calling other than to check in and see how their day is going. During this time of masks and social distancing, we must be more intentional about making connections and strengthening those relationships we have. Not sure a letter or a phone call will help you connect? The National Institutes of Health has a great Social Wellness Toolkit if you need other ideas or new ways to improve your social health. Today would be a great day to check it out and check in on your own social health.
Wishing you all the best,
Aubry Fowler, Fairfield County 4-H Educator