Social Distancing and Emotional Distancing

Social Distancing: Remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible – Center for Disease Control


With many of us “sheltering at home” die to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, “weekends” in Paradelle have become every day in Paradelle.

I saw an article online that discusses the social distancing that the CDC is asking that all of us do for our own protection, and how that differs from emotional distancing.

Though social distancing is a prudent measure to take, it may result in becoming emotionally distanced from friends, family and the larger world.

Emotional distancing can occur at any time. No pandemic required. It is when we isolate ourselves emotionally because we are overwhelmed by demands in a relationship or other stresses. It can cause depression or be the result of depression.

These are overwhelming times and forced isolation might trigger emotions from boredom to loneliness to depression.

The old adage is that “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but absence is not the best way to make our fondness and love grow.

Not to be a substitute for real-world connections or professional help, the article suggests a few ways to avoid emotional distancing during these times of social distancing.

One of those suggestions is staying virtually connected. Since you’re reading this online, you probably are doing this already. Of course, virtual is not the same as face-to-face connections, but sometimes it is the only practical way to stay connected. Many people are more frequently connected to others via text, email, phone call or video call. I’m guessing that all of that has increased in the past month globally.

For all the negatives about social media, places like Facebook can provide a connection over distances and many of the posts I am seeing are being deliberately kind, hopeful, funny and optimistic. There’s enough of the opposite in the mainstream media that we don’t need to duplicate it ourselves.

This is a good time to connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a few months and relatives (especially elderly one and those at risk medically).

Get outside and feel the sunlight, even if your balcony or backyard is as far as you dare to venture.

Published by

Ken Ronkowitz

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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