How to Check in on Others and Why it Makes a Big Difference
The Power of Staying Connected
For many Australians, catching up with friends and family is a regular and frequent part of life. However, under the current circumstances, the way we socialise and interact with others looks a little different to what it did before.
It’s important to remember that the people around you may be feeling isolated and lonely, so checking in every now and then can really go a long way.
According to the University of California, Berkeley, it is within human nature to be social and rely on the people around us. In fact, it’s written in our biology and reflected throughout evolution.
They say that our need for social connection stems from the way we communicate with each other: predominantly through voice, facial expression and touch.
And while social distancing requirements restrict us from being able to throw our arms around our friends and family like we once would, there are still plenty of ways to stay connected. So say hello to your neighbour, check in on your nana or send your best friend a letter, you never know what it could mean for them.
Keep up communication to help others combat loneliness
Communication is the key way to keep up with the people around you, especially when we are forced to be physically distant.
In a 2018 study done by the Australian Psychological Society (APS), in collaboration with Swinburne University, it revealed that one in two Australians feel lonely one day per week, while one in four simply identifies as lonely.
In the current circumstances, a lot of people are socially isolated and loneliness is one of the largest mental health issues facing them.
So it’s important to check on people that you know are particularly isolated during this time, like elderly people in your neighbourhood, grandparents, friends who live alone or even those in hospital.
A simple chat, whether it’s over the phone, via video call, social media or just a text, can make a huge difference to how that person feels that day and even as time goes on.
Small gestures go a long way
Ever thought about writing more or testing out your baking skills? Now might be the perfect time to do it, and gift it to someone else!
When it comes to checking in on other people during isolation, no gesture of kindness is too small. And you may be surprised at the impact that it has.
It could mean phoning a friend or family member once a week, writing a letter to someone you care about, sending a friend baked goods, asking your neighbour if they need help with grocery shopping, having a chat with another dog owner in the park or simply smiling at someone you walk past in the street.
There’s no singular way to show someone that you care about how they are going, so take a small amount of time in your week or day to boost someone’s mood and help them feel better during isolation. You never know, they might just do the same back to you!
University of California, Berkeley: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/social_connection/definition