On Monday, June 8th, this country will celebrate National Best Friends Day, which is a terrific way to acknowledge those people in your life who hold special status, and who mean more to you than all other acquaintances. It’s a good time to recognize these persons in Marysville and elsewhere in the U.S., as being people whom we rely on more, and people whom we care about more. Senior home care professionals recognize the importance of keeping in touch with these special friends, especially in cases where a senior person may have lost a spouse. Here are some of the benefits of maintaining contact with best friends, even under the present circumstances where contact with others is not really encouraged.
Countless tests and research have clearly demonstrated that people thrive on socializing and that when they’re deprived of social interactions for a period of time, they tend to become depressed, isolated, and withdrawn. None of those things are conducive to good emotional health, and in fact, they can be serious detriments to well-being.
In these times where we are all being asked to stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible, it is more important than ever for us to stay in touch with that one person we count on the most. There are safe ways to do this, by phone or by video meetings for instance, but those aren’t quite the same as in-person sessions. The best of all solutions is when you can have a best friend who is as careful as you are about hygiene and safe practices, and can visit you occasionally with no worries about transmitting the virus.
Some best friends have the magical quality of being able to lower your stress level by their mere presence – you just feel more at ease and more at peace when they’re around. If you have a friend like this, you’ll probably want to spend more time with them rather than less, and you’ll look for ways that you can both be together and enjoy each other’s company. Obviously, you both need to take steps to ensure the health of the other, and avoid any meetings when either of you is not feeling well. This is something that should come naturally though because when you have friends who are this important to you, you never want to expose them to anything which might be dangerous to their health.
Doctors have noticed a surprising result of the social distancing requirements which have been imposed on society, which is that in some ways, people are actually becoming closer than they used to be. Because we have all been forced to avoid physical meetings as much as possible, much greater use of Skype and Zoom have come into being because those tools allow us to maintain contact with friends. Using these tools has led to an increased expression of internal emotions, prompted by the fact that we are all in this together, and that we’re all facing a life-or-death situation in our lives. The urgency of this new set of circumstances has encouraged many people to drop their normal emotional inhibitions and freely express their feelings toward each other – which has led to greater closeness among friends.
Many people have found that they are making much more of an effort to stay in touch with their best friends because of the coronavirus impact. Whereas contact with friends used to be easy and almost taken for granted, now whenever it occurs it’s almost like a treat or something special. All humans are social creatures, and without social interactions, we can become lonely and withdrawn. Studies have shown that isolation in humans is 25% more likely to lead to premature death than a situation where a person has regular interaction with others. Taking advantage of the friendship and companionship provided by a best friend can be very therapeutic during these times when isolation has been imposed on us, at least to a certain degree.
In some ways, making connections with friends now can be at a deeper level than at any time in the past, simply because all those relationships have suddenly become more meaningful. By having video meetings with your best friends at regular intervals, you can intensify the depth of your association, as you sincerely invest more of yourself in the session. Making solid eye contact throughout the meeting, and acting as though your friend is right there beside you in the same room, can make it all seem more real and more meaningful. Sometimes people feel much more comfortable about revealing more of themselves at a safe distance, as opposed to having someone two feet away from you, hanging on your every word. Use this stay-at-home time to get even closer to your best friend, because it can literally be your lifeline as you navigate through these difficult times of social distancing.