The Risk of Overstimulation While Practicing Social Distancing

In our last post, we talked about the importance of staying connected even as we started moving toward social distancing measures.  Time has passed, and many cities and states are observing Shelter at Home Orders, more social settings and events have been shut down, and we are being encouraged to stay at home and stay safe.  Creative connection, especially in early recovery IS important right now, and it is equally as important that we each find time to be quiet, to pull in, and to reflect on ourselves and our feelings.

It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but there is a risk of becoming socially overwhelmed and overstimulated right now.

COVID-19 is here, and it’s changing the way we move in our lives.  As we move toward greater distance and physical isolation, many of us are using technology to stay connected to the people we care about and the information that we need.  In our efforts to find ways to keep from being completely isolated, many of us run the risk of going too far in the other direction.  Technology gives us the tools we need to stay connected to each other and to the world.  While connection is a must for human beings, too much social connection and information can leave us just as frazzled and emotionally hungover as a 3:30am night out on the town.

In our efforts to stay connected in this time of social isolation, it can be easy to say “yes” to every Zoom call, tempting to Skype with every person we know on any given day, and joining all the Facebook Groups might seem enticing.  We may also be called to help others stay connected, so perhaps we’re starting groups, going Live, and creating Zoom classes.  On top of all that, we might find ourselves reading and seeking out all the information we can find on COVID-19, its symptoms, and the impact that is having in our city and in the world. We may, if we are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, also find that our clients need us more now than they did 3 weeks ago, and we have to take phone and teleconference calls or be in meetings that we didn’t need to deal with before.

It can get to be a lot.

You won’t catch me saying that I’m glad we’re going through a world-wide pandemic right now.  I’m not.  But I will say this: We have a unique opportunity, right now, to do two things – learn how to creatively work, teach, learn and help others without being in the same room AND learn how to sit quietly, connect with our closest family members, find our connection to spirituality if that’s important to us, and spend time resting, being in nature, and creating.  Now is as much a time for learning to meditate on our own and get comfortable in our skin as it is for finding ways to connect with the recovery community or our besties on Zoom or Facetime.

Balance is the key.

Walk away from your computer, Friend.  It will still be there in 15 minutes.  Really.  Give yourself a gift, and:

Go for a walk around the block;
Pet your fur friend;
Draw, doodle, paint;
Gaze out the window;
Get on a bike and go for a ride;
Dance alone;
Write a note to someone you love;
Close your eyes for a few minutes;
Read recovery and self-help literature;
Sit.  Breathe.  Rest.

Then Connect again.

*The original post by Tara E. Moorman, published at Ond Healing and Coaching, was edited by the author for publication on this blog.  

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay