Blogs

Social Connection and Resilience (2020)

Carol Geffner

Social Connection and Resilience

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will be plentiful, profound,  and possibly surprising. Daily, we hear stories fraught with pain, suffering and fear. At the same time, the best of humanity manifests as first responders, healthcare workers, neighbours, and strangers serve one another with compassion and heroic acts of kindness. 

 

Never before, in most of our lifetimes, have we been witness to human interconnectedness in the way it is unfolding during this pandemic. Mental health, overall well-being and happiness are strengthened as we reach out across vast geographies through old fashioned phone calls, virtual happy hours, neighborhood walks, and a myriad of creative gatherings. While none of us would wish to be reminded of how crucial social relationships are through lessons learned in a global health crisis, maybe it’s a “blessing in disguise” to have to think about connecting in a way that we take for granted in “normal” times.  This experience is shaking all of us out of complacency, or our automatic mindsets and behaviours, into a stunning and possibly unfamiliar wakefulness. 

 

As we move together through the next few months and possibly longer, let’s keep reaching out and listening to the emotions of our friends, family, employees and strangers in a way that keeps our hearts open.  Let’s be mindful that we can continue to strengthen relationships in simple ways.

 

  1. Ask how someone is doing.  How are you feeling today? What can I do to help? These powerful questions might just cut through a sense of isolation and prompt a conversation.
  2. Surprise someone.  Make a food gift for a neighbour or elderly friend. A door step surprise can send a message of love.
  3. Take care of yourself. If you’re at home with small children and family members, make sure you step outside, take more frequent and shortened breaks, take a virtual exercise class, do a mindfulness meditation, whine to a friend, whatever it takes to reenergise and smile. 
  4. Keep moving. There’s little worse than inactivity for sustaining a sense of well-being. Whether you walk around your backyard, or Zumba online, the key is to get up, get out and move.
  5. Remember…”this too shall pass”. This is temporary. While we might not know the widespread implications for a longtime, be assured that nothing stays the same, and this is the time to use every resource available for the support you need. 

 

While this list is just a glimpse into what’s possible, I hope, at the very least, it will kindle a desire to reach out, serve someone, and remind yourself that now is the best time you’ll have for a long while to preserve, strengthen and build relationships for the sake of your well-being and that of everyone you know. 

Read more on the current crisis, and leading through uncertainty.

KDVI Writer's Colony, 2020

Add Comment

Article Comments

Folkert Hettinga

Apr 28, 3:03 PM

please keep me posted

Vaseehar Hassan

Apr 28, 3:44 PM

I did all the 4 and have hope optimism for the 5 point. Enjoyed reading the blog. Yesterday I arranged dinner for my ex colleague and his wife through a delivery service. They were surprised and grateful when I told them I am sending “lamb briyani” for their iftar ( break fast in Ramadan). My friend said he was longing for some briyani. I felt happy to be able to make him happy

Go back


Related content

"Do less instead of doing too much"

The Case for Slacking Off

This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review argues that the biggest problem we have in contemporary society is not that we do too little but that we try to do too much.

Published on 10 Dec, 2013

"Down the rabbit hole of shame"

Don’t Let Shame Become a Self-Destructive Spiral

Shame is part of the human experience. Keeping your feelings of shame in perspective can relieve you of a harmful tendency to self-blame, and, eventually, make peace with your shadow side. Knowing that you are good enough, worthwhile, and deserving of love and acceptance is essential for building resilience and living your most authentic life.

Published on 1 Jun, 2017

The Happiness Equation

The Happiness Equation

Through coaching work with senior executives, Manfred Kets de Vries explores why many suffer from profound periods of unhappiness despite having external success.

Published on 7 Dec, 2007

"C-suite suicide trend"

C-suite Suicides: When Exec Life Becomes a Nightmare

Swisscom's CEO and Zurich's CFO recently took their own lives. This Fortune Management article quotes Manfred Kets de Vries on this recent trend.

Published on 10 Sep, 2013

"What role does money play in our lives"

Making Sense of "Fuck-You Money" ad Beyond

This paper explores the role money plays in our lives.

Published on 5 Apr, 2006

"Obsession for digital technology"

Addressing Digital Addiction

Digital technology has greatly enhanced our lives both inside and outside the workplace. But it is not all positive. When does an obsession for digital technology become a serious health problem?
 

Published on 17 Oct, 2016

Digital Communication Technology during Covid-19 – Saviour or Tormentor?

Digital Communication Technology during Covid-19 – Saviour or Tormentor?

In the Covid-19 crisis digital communication technologies (DCTs) are our saviour. They enable us to continue to work remotely and not to fall into complete social isolation despite physical distancing measures. Indeed, many have now rekindled lost friendships and thanks to DCTs, family, friends and colleagues are just one click away. But are our digital devices really always our friend during this stressful time?

Published on 1 May, 2020

"Personailty and techno-stress"

The Human Cost of Digital Technologies

As companies race towards digitisation, the expectation that people in organisations need to be permanently on-call is creating very human challenges. This blog reports on a research study lwhich looks at how individuals cope with technostress, and the mediating role personality plays.

Published on 25 May, 2016

"Assessing psychological risk factors of leaders"

How Is Our Pilot Feeling Today?: A Courageous Conversation That Could Make a Difference

This blog presents a quick assessment of psychological risk factors for high performing individuals.

Published on 18 Apr, 2015

"Are you suffering from the wealth fatigue syndrome?"

Pity the Super Rich

This blog entry explores the wealth fatigue syndrome. Instead, one should invest in enduring things that matter.

Published on 10 Dec, 2014