We have all grown accustomed to the various ways in which we find meaning in life and how we connect with others. This past year has taught us to think outside the box and consider new ways to socialize. Missing Friday Night Karaoke? There are Facebook groups that have virtual, weekly sessions. No need to worry that you might sound off-key – we all have mute buttons! If you desire to expand your horizons, you can enroll in an online class (and wear your pajamas). During a stressful time like this, it is no surprise that we are all taking a breather and just letting ourselves relax a bit and laugh. Who wants to live in a world without Lawyer Cat? I certainly don’t.
The relationship between mental and physical health is indisputable. Being present and grounded during times like these where we may feel detached is important. The grass between our toes, feeding the neighborhood birds, singing to our pets – are all things that we may not have considered before. Looking into our loving dog’s eyes releases oxytocin, the chemical responsible for bonding. Cortisol – commonly referred to as “the stress hormone” – can be kept at a healthy level by maintaining strong relationships, living a healthy lifestyle, and getting enough sleep. This naturally-occurring substance in our bodies acts as an anti-inflammatory and when it is elevated the immune system is weakened.
Let loose. Smiling releases endorphins – which help regulate pain and stress
– and laughter increases serotonin and dopamine – two neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation. If your favorite bakery is closed it might be time to master banana bread – you can bake with a friend on Zoom. Bought a new home and can’t find a contractor? There are forums online with wonderful people who love to help. If you are feeling anxious there are others who can relate. Join social media. Share. Laugh. Engage. Grandma has a tik tok account and an elderly gentleman raised millions for healthcare in the United Kingdom. People like to be happy. It feels good to help and we enjoy making each other feel better – it eases symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves our mood overall, and strengthens our immune system making us less vulnerable to viruses and other illnesses. We are social beings and it is easier to connect now more than ever before. We are kinder and we are here for each other.
© 2020 RB