Human beings are social creatures. We need to be close and connected to others. We need to feel loved, cared for, understood, and valued.

In fact, some people say that our need to connect with others is as basic as our need for food, water, and shelter. And that it developed because we need other humans to survive. They point out that humans are actually wired to connect with others.

Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. They may be close relationships, like with family, friends, teachers, some of your classmates, or more distant, like with people you don’t know that well yet. Your connections can live with you or near you or be far away so that you can only connect on the phone, by texting, or messaging. You may prefer having lots of social connections or just a few. All of these variations are okay!

Research shows that social connection with others is super important. There are many, many benefits to feeling connected to others. Connections really help our mind, body, and spirit.

There are lots of ways to connect

  • You can send an email, a text message, or even mail a letter through Canada Post (gasp!).
  • You can call or use FaceTime. You can play online games with others that you know in real life.
  • Even when you are on your own, just remembering or thinking about time spent with friends or family or times at school in the past can help you feel more connected.
  • Thinking, imagining, or planning for when you will be together with others in the future can also keep up the connection in your mind and bring you happiness.
  • Sharing memories or making plans with family and friends is also a way to connect.

Lately, connecting with others in person has been difficult. And our connections may continue to look different for the next while. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t connect with others. We can!

So think:

  • Who do you feel connected to?
  • Who would you like to see or talk to again?
  • What are the ways you like to connect with others – in person, by phone, online?

This week’s challenge:

Find ways to connect with the people in your life right now, and also to think about how you will re-connect once school re-opens

Some ideas to stay connected:

  • Ask a family member their favourite memory of being home together. Find out what they have missed the most and what they are looking forward to doing once we are ‘back to normal.’ Share your memories and ideas with them.
  • Reach out to a friend or relative and go for a bike ride or do some other physical activity with them (keeping physical distance, of course).
  • Connect with a friend or relative online (play a game, do a FaceTime chat, text…).
    • Remember only connect with people online that you know in person or in real life.
  • Write down a few questions or ideas (or make Google docs and use voice to text) that you want to share with your teacher and classmates when you get back to school.
  • Think about what you are most looking forward to when you get back to school, what have you missed, who are you excited to see.
    • Share these with someone in your family.
  • Who are the people that you have missed seeing? Send them a message to let them know that you’re thinking about them.
  • Think about what you will miss when you go back to school. Have you been able to spend more time with your parents or a sibling who is normally away at school?
    • Let them know that you have enjoyed this time, and think about how you can continue to connect once we all get back to school and work.
  • It’s up to you!