From pre-pandemic to now post-pandemic, there is no denying that the new hybrid work-life environment has taken a drastic toll on everyone in some form or another. In fact, depression rates have tripled within the United States alone due to the many Covid-related stresses such as lack of human connection both in personal and professional life. Because let’s face it, humans are incredibly social creatures (even introverts) and need social connection with others to live a fulfilled, healthy, regulated, and emotionally balanced life. However, between a year of disconnect, social distancing to now living in a hybrid-oriented world, achieving that craved human connection in a post-pandemic time can feel impossible.

But you do want to know a secret? It’s not.

You see, the pandemic may have resulted in a new hybrid way of life that leverages technology now more than ever, but that does not mean your mental and physical health has to suffer because of it. There are several ways you can get your enriching dose of human connection in this disconnected day and age to live the quality life you deserve, enabling you to finally bridge the gap between your need for connection and coping with the realities of this new hybrid work-life culture.

1. Reach Out To An Old Friend You Lost Touch With

Sometimes the key to combating the push against human connection is taking the initiative. With that being said, do you have an old friend that you lost touch with either during or before the pandemic? If so, reach out to them and see if they are open to reconnecting again. Not only does this effort help you feel more engaged with someone you may trust, but it can also bring a wave of warming nostalgia that helps you feel comforted and euphoric. So, shoot them a message or give them a call. Talk and laugh over the happy memories you both created together and regrow your relationship again. It can be the very thing that helps you both feel valued as a person and manage the stresses you are both under as you adjust to the hybrid work-life environment.

2. Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbor(s)

Do you happen to have neighbors? If so, think about stopping over to introduce yourself and say hello. Perhaps invite them over for dinner or have them come over for a fire in the backyard to socialize and simply hang out. All in all, there is a good chance they are lonely and disconnected too, and meeting someone new who is close by could be exactly the social connection and support you both need. It is also nice to connect with someone who can quickly pick up on cues that you need either physical or emotional help by merely looking across the street. In the end, this could be the beginning of an awesome long-term friendship; you just have to be willing to take that first introductory step to find out.

3. Do A Random Act of Kindness

Doing random acts of kindness is something that can bolster both your life and others. In general, feeling anxious and depressed are things that can stem from feeling hopeless or helpless. And as you may know, hopelessness and helplessness can result from a lack of social connection and feeling uninvolved. So, by doing random acts of kindness, you can help combat those adverse emotions and replace them with feelings of efficaciousness and optimism. You will also likely have boosted self-esteem and self-worth along the way from that rising, empowering energy of helping others. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big act to gain these mindful benefits; even the smallest of kind/ considerate gestures can have profound impacts on making you and others feel good.

4. Volunteer For A Cause That You Truly Care About

From feeling valued to counteracting anger, stress, and anxiety, volunteering to a cause you truly care about can work wonders at fulfilling your need for social connection. The very social aspects of helping and working with others towards a common goal works wonders on improving your psychological wellbeing, which is especially vital to strengthen during this post-pandemic hybrid time. Overall, connecting with others to fight the effects of isolation, feeling like you are a part of a larger purpose, and proactively advancing your community are all igniting things volunteering can offer you when/if you are ready to jump on board with a cause you are passionate about.

Summary – Connecting During A Time of Disconnection

The nation (and the world, for that matter) has significantly shifted ever since the beginning of 2020. What was once a very intermingled and connected society transformed into a chaotic social mess in just a matter of a couple months. Though the pandemic is now finally creeping out of the picture, it left behind it a cloud of permanent post-pandemic dust that has people scrambling to get accustomed to. Sure, the “work from home” spike and the implementation of the hybrid work-life culture is certainly wonderful for optimizing safety and convenience, but it was at the expense of social connection. Luckily, there are key things you can adopt in your life to fill that prevalent void, as you can see above.

In summary, you are not alone. You are not the only one feeling the depressive, anxious, and health-impacting stings caused from a lack of social connection. In addition, you are not the only person who is trying to navigate through this new work-life norm while meeting the connective needs at the same time. But never forget that you are not stuck, and with the right approaches, mindset, and keys, you may be surprised at how connected you and those around you can truly become regardless of what is going on outside.