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Connections and COVID19

Kay Newton April 2020

Connection Kuel Category Expert: Kay Newton

Day 10 of lockdown here in Spain. We are unable to leave our property unless we have a valid reason: to go to the local shop, chemists, walk your dog (only for the necessities). We are not allowed to drive in a car without proof of destination. We do not know when this will end.

Social distancing can play heavily on your mind if you let it. We are moving into uncertain times, one thing we know is that life will never be the same.

We seem to have three viruses at play right now; corona, fear, and excitement. Coronavirus can be avoided by self-isolation, the two others are a choice. When you realise that the same area of the brain lights up in a CT scan whether you are thinking fear or excitement, is it not better to choose the latter?

As a species that crave connection, lockdown is the perfect time to get excited about connecting. Here are my ideas.

1. Connect To Self
You cannot go out so now is the perfect time to go inward. A lockdown is the perfect time to slow down, connect to what is important to you. French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed, all of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly alone. Make a list of things that are important to you, write them in a journal, and begin to honour your thoughts about what makes them important. Sit with your thoughts and meditate on them, this is the way we will create our new world going forward. Your thoughts create the reality you want to see in the world.

Start your day by gently hugging the only person you will spend your whole life with – you. Wake up slowly, take a deep breath, release any tension as you connect to yourself in full presence. Gently wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a well deserved hug. Give thanks to your body for being yours, available to you for today.

2. Connect To Those You Love The Most
Fortunately, for me, modern technology allows me to keep in touch with the world at any time of the day. I can reach out to my two adult boys, my brother, and my closest of friends all from a mobile phone. WhatsApp is our preferred medium, our family group is a safe place to post photos, videos, voice recordings as well as written conversations.

As my husband and I are in lockdown together, we have decided to further our Connection experiment we had synchronistically started at the beginning of Lent – to deepen our 28 year relationship in simple ways. We have no need for the alarm clock, so we awaken in our own time, make sure we cuddle and make each other laugh before starting the day. Our day has a routine: exercise; work; creating great nourishing food for each other; music; laughter; and ‘date’ nights – a movie and sometimes popcorn!

3. Connect To Your Circle Of Influence
Every day make a list of five people you can connect to and enquire how they are. This can be a simple FB message (written or voice), phone call, email, or a medium of your choice. If you are calling, be prepared to listen. People are not interested in your own personal circumstances, they usually require a space to vent. All good friends will in turn create a space for you to do the same if you wish. At times of stress, the best gift you can give someone is a safe space to let go without blame, judgement, or criticism. Think of yourself as the person throwing the stranded starfish back into the water, the starfish will then create their own positive ripples in the tide of fear.

In my Facebook group I have created a virtual coffee space where people can jump on a daily Zoom call and chat with other like minded individuals for 40 minutes. These are not difficult to organise or host and well worth the effort. What can you do for your community?

4. Connect To Old Friends
We had not been in lockdown for more than 24 hours when I got a strange Whatsapp message – was I by any chance the Kay who in 1979 was in Grenfell Patrol of the Outward bound course in the Lake District UK? What amazing irony! Now in isolation, I have time to catch up on what has happened to the team members over the past 40 years.

Old connections can truly lift the spirit at times of isolation and difficulty. Just type names, areas, and a time period into Google and see what comes up. You will be surprised how many old school or college friends you can find this way.

5. Connect To New Friends
Lockdown is the perfect time to meet new online friends and get to know them. Again, place in your diary a space to make five connections per day and then all you have to do is reach out. Facebook messenger and LinkedIn are ideal platforms to do this.

Be genuinely interested in them, find a common connection. For example you may say ‘Hello nice to meet you here, I see that we have xxx number of friends in common, now seems like a perfect time to get to know you.’ THEN visit their timelines or bios and find something else that intrigues you. For example ‘I see that you love Tai Chi – me too! What style do you practice?’ Do not ask too many questions or it may feel like spam and definitely do not sell anything. You are just making a first connection.

Make sure you place a second date into your diary for a week’s time and connect again, eventually you may want to have a real conversation, and you never know where that may lead in the future. I have made so many friends around the world this way, some I have met and hugged personally, all are soul sisters and I would be lost without them.

I would love to know how you will make new connections in 2020 and if you have read this and want to know more about me, why not connect here: www.KayNewton.com

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About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include:

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.