Can you reach out to someone?

What are your thoughts on this day – the first of May 2020? How are you feeling? Where do you find yourself as you sit reading this post?

As I sit writing it, I am very conscious of how much of the human world is now in lockdown and how different that might be depending on where you sit, or stand, or walk out of your house to go to work. I am also conscious of my own relative safety in the present. I am noticing the sense of being more connected to loved ones than I have been in a long time – for I am always separated by a 24 hour flight from my family in NZ, so this lockdown just extends that circle wider. My concern for some of those loved ones, isolated alone in their lockdown bubbles, has prompted me to reach out more regularly, to make a space for that when I always felt too busy before. It has deepened some relationships and it has re-ignited others that had been neglected for too long. Some relationships have also dropped away for the moment, in some cases because people are busy looking after their own closer circles. Some new relationships have formed with people in the same street, as we try to help each other out or just send a message checking in.

I’m wondering as I write this how you are and whether you are experiencing this too? Or if you’re not, whether there is someone you can reach out and connect with now? And if there isn’t someone in particular, or if that step feels too huge, whether you could reach out to someone else instead? There are helplines, the Samaritans are especially helpful and you can call them on 116 123 any time, night or day. But there are also some really great projects where you can reach out to someone else who might be feeling as isolated as you are right now. For example, you could become a pen pal and write regularly to a care home. If you’re interested, have a look here at what’s involved. Reaching out in that way might be beneficial to you and them. Paradoxically, supporting or helping others is one way we can help ourselves, it can give us a sense of meaning, purpose and connection. Why not give it a try?

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