Humans have a Basic Need to Connect with Others

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By Beratta Gomillion, Executive Director
Center for Human Services in Shoreline

Stop "social distancing" but please continue to physically distance yourself from others. 

We all know we must protect one another, avoid gatherings, and stay at least six feet apart. However, let’s not confuse maintaining our physical distance from each other with emotionally and socially distancing from each other. 

During these unprecedented times with lots of uncertainty and fear, it is very important that you continue to use your social/support network. Social contact is a fundamental human need, and we suffer both mentally and physically without it.

Since we live in a world where digital communication is commonplace, it is somewhat easy, if one has the means, to stay in touch with people superficially through Facebook, Instant Messaging, or even email. 

However, as humans, we yearn for more meaningful interactions with a few people. We can accomplish this by still using social media through free apps such as Skype, Face Time, Marco Polo, Google Duo, Zoom meetings and several others, where you can actually see each other but not be physically with each other. 

We advise you to choose a few select people and turn social distancing into distant socializing. This is a way you can participate in quality conversations and meet your human need to connect with others.

By now, during this time of stay-home directives, many people are just sick of it. 

Some are feeling anxiety or clinical depression for the first time and others are seeing increased symptoms of already diagnosed conditions. We are hearing more and more stories of parents being overly stressed trying to homeschool their children or just keep them occupied. 

Some sources say that alcohol sales have gone up over 50% during this outbreak, but I assure you, drinking or drugging is not a healthy or safe way to deal with your stress. It is also a fact that incidences of child abuse and neglect as well domestic violence spike during crises such as what we are experiencing. 

By now, most people have a better understanding of how deeply social isolation and the stress of COVID-19 impacts us. None of us are exempt from the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak and there is no shame in talking to a professional about what you are going through. 

If you would like to talk to a therapist, whether it is merely to help you get through this difficult period or on a more ongoing basis, please feel free to call Center for Human Services at 206-362-7282. 

We will be happy to talk with you over the phone or through video-conferencing. CHS is grateful to have received a grant from the City of Shoreline that allows us to support you at no cost to you. 

Remember, you are not alone.


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