By Danette Moss, development coordinator
Reconnecting with others post-COVID
Over the past year, staying connected to those we care about was more important than ever and it was challenging. For someone who is naturally a social butterfly and struggles with FOMO (fear of missing out), having my wings clipped was almost devastating. There was good learning, too, in taking a pause from the fast-paced dance between one social gathering to the next. The gift of quiet reflection and the true experiences of deep connection and quality time with loved ones had me wondering if I would be ready to return to the social life that had once filled me with an energized hum.
Restrictions on social distancing loosened and I hit the ground running! Like a kid in a candy store, I scooped up every opportunity to (safely) connect with people and filled every evening and weekend for almost a month. It was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, not only for me, but also for those around me. I was struck by my feelings of wanting to slow down, that something was missing. Don’t get me wrong, I was having plenty of fun and loving getting to authentically engage with people I cared about. It was more of a realization that I didn’t need to pile it all on at once, and that I was forgetting about the gifts I received during COVID, including time for deep connection and quality time alone.
Summer is upon us and it’s the perfect time to be meeting with friends and family in our beautiful Rogue Valley. Outdoor venues with tunes that delight, backyard barbeques, and nature walks are calling to me, and I want to say “yes” to it all! Is it realistic and healthy?
Here are a few thoughts on how to make the most of social time in the coming year.
• Time is precious and so are those we allow into our lives. Make the time count. Whether gathering with family, old friends or new, listen, laugh, and love with your whole being. Be fully connected to those with you at that moment, even when you find you are hopping from one gathering to the next.
• Take time to reflect and recharge before the next social engagement, and if you have a loved one that joins you regularly, they’ll need and appreciate that time too.
• When someone is on your mind, let them know! Often, we find ourselves waiting for the right time to reach out and schedule a date or just say hello. A quick text or phone call can lift spirits and brighten the day and can create opportunities to fill or lighten your social calendar.
Tip: Spend a little time thinking about what you’ve learned about yourself in the last year. Consider ways to connect with others socially while also allowing yourself to change and grow.