It is generally believed that men aren’t great at expressing their feelings. But it’s less about being able to express ourselves, and more about how society perceives men who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Fortunately it has become more acceptable for men to be open about how they’re feeling. This is especially important with social distancing causing higher levels of separation anxiety among people.
With large outdoor gatherings, bars, lounges, and clubs currently shut down and social distancing in full effect, it's normal to develop feelings of detachment and loneliness. Sure, technology allows us to keep in contact with the world, but perhaps this is an opportunity to change things up and strengthen your social ties through more traditional methods. Here are a couple of ways to keep your friendships strong while keeping socially distant.
When was the last time you wrote someone a letter? We jokingly refer to this as snail mail, but what we lose in the immediacy and speed of an email or text message we get back in the personal connectivity and emotions that a letter conveys. Granted, you can't reach out to everyone like this but think of a handful of people that you really miss and write to them. Take your time to express what the past couple of months have been like and what you look forward to in the future. It’s an opportunity for vulnerability at a time when we can all use it.
Along with the ability to send your feelings via letter, you can also reach out and touch someone with your phone. Not in the way that most of us do now. Texting, messenger apps, and social media dominant our phone usage while actual voice calls become a less used medium. With so many things going on at once, many don’t have the time or desire to stop and focus on just one thing. Make that time. Take that opportunity to call a friend and have a real chat. Check up on how they are doing. Lend your open ear to hear what they’ve been feeling. Don’t text while on the call. Don’t check Instagram. Kick back and give this call the full attention of all your senses. This may be a new experience for some or a return to old times for others, but it can be refreshing for all involved.
We have been presented with an opportunity to break old habits and establish new ones. The power of the people and their bonds with each other are key to maintaining not only physical health but mental health through these unique times. Make it a point of emphasis to keep those bonds strong, it will definitely be appreciated.