Louisiana is an unusually touchy state. We are known for being friendly and for never knowing a stranger. We shake hands as a sign of respect and also as a way of expressing endearment. We hug hello AND goodbye-we even hug as an introduction. How many times have you heard, “Nice to meet you! I’m a hugger.”
Of course, there are always people who appreciate personal space and no physical contact, but as a state we are VERY touchy. We put a hand on a shoulder or arm to show engagement in conversation. We kiss each other on the cheeks. At the very least, we smile at each other.
All of those ways to express our love and acceptance of each other have been stripped away. That human connection is a huge part of our day-to-day here. Without it, a lot of people have been left feeling disconnected and isolated. Not being able to physically be present with friends and family during such a stressful time can tear away at your mental health.
We have more access now to communicate globally than we have ever had. We have video calls, instant messaging, and social media. But with everything going on in our world, social media can even cause more stress. So how can we stay connected to the people we love…in a meaningful way?
My mom has taken to sending out hand-written cards again, just to show that she cares and is thinking about her loved ones. They have something tangible to hold on to!
I dropped coffee off for some friends who were quarantined and left it in their yard, then ran back to my car to wave.
You can even just join a video call with some friends during your day-to-day tasks. It’s so important we keep our interpersonal connections strong in this time that feels so lonely.
As seen in Modern Grace Magazine