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

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Article Comments

Folkert Hettinga

Apr 28, 4:03 PM

please keep me posted

Vaseehar Hassan

Apr 28, 4:44 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

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