A couple of years ago, we brought you a blog post called “The Health Benefits of Singing,” where we discussed how singing and other types of social activities can help with loneliness, stress, and depression. Of course, this holiday season, things are different – we certainly can’t sing together, nor can we be connected in so many of the ways that we are used to doing. We know that for so many, this lack of human connection, especially for those living on their own or in long term care, can have negative impacts on our health, such as a failure to thrive and mental health struggles.
Connecting with others is such a beautiful thing – it gives us a sense of belonging and of purpose – it builds community, and there is no question that all of these things can positively impact our mental health (and in turn, our physical health too!) We’ve come up with such innovative ways of connecting with one another throughout the pandemic – primarily we’ve seen a huge rise in video chats on Zoom or Skype, which is such a wonderful way of keeping in touch with others. With that said, we’ve also heard about ‘Zoom fatigue’ and know that through a screen, while helpful, isn’t always the best way of connecting to one another.
So what do we do? How do we find human connection when we’re confined to our own households? This holiday season, we encourage you to make human connections in any way you can (providing it’s COVID-friendly). Some ideas we would love to share is by connecting with people outside, while masked and 6 feet apart; or visiting with someone from below while they’re on a balcony; or even by just saying hello to people at the grocery store. While limits on travelling may make it difficult to physically be with our loved ones, many of us still have neighbours we can have a safe, distanced conversation with. We encourage you to make that small effort to connect, even if it’s not with your family or close friends. Get outside and say hello – you might make someone’s day.
This year has been a challenging one for all of us, and on behalf of all of us at Charlton Health, we would like to wish you the best during this trying time. We hope you have a very Happy Holiday season and a Happy New Year.