Nurses Stand Strong – Part I: Connection

How Can You Connect… From a Distance!?

Today marks the beginning of Nurses Stand Strong.  This week’s focus? 


Because that is where strength is derived. 

Now, you may have noticed some new behaviors taking hold:

  • High fives and handshakes have disappeared. 
  • We’re staying 6 feet away from each other. 
  • In-person gatherings are off the table. 
  • Family visits are even restricted. 

Yet during this time of social distancing, something fascinating has happened:

People are connecting more than ever and socializing from a distance.  In fact, I’ve been spending extra time reaching out to my friends and family. 

I’ve been connecting with people through phone and video conference. 

I’ve been laughing harder than I have in a long time. 

I’ve been exploring my fears and what I’m grateful for – often in the same breath. 

This distancing has served as a beautiful reminder of the people who are most important to me… 

A reminder of how much strength I derive from connection.  

How You Can Leverage Reactance

I want you to imagine this:

I just told you that you’re not allowed to visit your family.  No visits. Zero. Nada. No ifs, ands, or buts. 

Now, the moment I tell you that, what happens next? 

Well, if you’re like 99% of people, you suddenly want to visit everyone!

This is an amazing human psychological response called reactance Reactance happens when we’re told we can’t do something, and then we want it even more.  It’s essentially our brain ensuring that we’re free to do what we want with our own lives. 

So as we’re instructed to be socially distant, to keep 6 feet away from others, and to avoid group gatherings, I invite you to leverage the power of reactance. Embrace your sudden desire to connect with others… and do exactly that. 

  • Call an old friend. 
  • Smile and wave at someone from across the street. 
  • Hop on a video call and enjoy time with family. 
  • Seek support from your fellow nurses.  

That’s how you can leverage reactance. 


Now, More Than Ever – Human Connection Is Vitally Important

Strong social relationships are known to have more of an impact on our health, happiness, and longevity than almost any other lifestyle factor. 

So even when social distancing is paramount to population health, we must find ways to ensure that it does not become synonymous with loneliness. 

How are you finding new ways to connect with others?

How are you socializing from a distance? 

Let me know in the comments below! 

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