• Rev. Ginger Watson

Mental Health Focus - Connection

Mental Health Focus - Connection

As we move into month 5 of the global pandemic, with lock-downs continuing for so many people who felt somewhat isolated even before the virus, I am particularly worried about our older people living in memory care facilities or other care centers who have restricted in-person visitation. I've seen before and after photographs of people with dementia who are deteriorating much faster because they aren't seeing their family members and other outside caregivers. Adult children who are used to seeing their parents several times a week are only able to visit on Facetime or through a window. It's taking a toll. I understand the facilities' desire to keep their community members safe (and let's be honest, to avoid liability) but quality of life is sacrificed in the name of safety. It's a mess and it's heartbreaking.

We humans need meaningful connection with other people; we are wired for connection. To thrive emotionally and physically, we need interaction. Even people who are naturally more introverted or private still need human connection for their well being.

If you are finding yourself feeling isolated, I know that it can feel vulnerable to reach out to friends or family. It's important for your overall health, though, that you prioritize connection. Make a plan to call one person from church every other day. Write a card to someone you know may also be feeling lonely. If possible, consider an evening visit outside and physically distanced.

If you are in the enviable position of being able to get out of the house and visit with friends and family (safely!), reach out to folks in our congregation who God places on your heart. Who is it who always greeted you on Sunday mornings? Whose warmth made you feel like you belonged? Give those folks a call!

We are not together physically, but we are connected through the Holy Spirit. The problem is that sometimes we just need to hear another person's voice. Let the Spirit lead you to make connections. Together we will make it through this isolating time. We won't do as well if we try to go it alone.