In The Country Magazine
gemma scopes
In The Country Lifestyle

Friendships during a pandemic.

A short but sweet, quick read from guest writer, podcaster, and award winning blogger, Gemma Scopes in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

Undoubtedly this is a whirlwind time for us all. Some are losing employment, while frontline workers are being asked to work harder than ever. Many are missing friends, while others find themselves questioning intimate relationships. Some are feeling intense loneliness, whilst others are thriving on more time to spend alone.

Navigating the chaos of this chapter, there really is no right or wrong way of spending time and energy right now. At the root, it is a time of survival, such as we have never experienced before.

Beyond the physical constraints of isolation, there is a new wave of the (so far) less talked about mental constraints too. The impact of living without external coping mechanisms and established methods of self-care is something that should not be overlooked.

Prior to this pandemic, loneliness was already an epidemic, with the British Red Cross reporting one-fifth of the population suffering from it. With greater means than ever of ‘connecting’, the result was, surprisingly, that people were feeling lonelier than ever too. 

So, what are we missing?

Well, in some cases we’re not really ‘missing’ anything. We have instead created endless expectations from our relationships, because our friends have unlimited ways to reach us.

By now you’ve likely seen many pandemic-related positive quotes and memes shared across your social media pages. One that stuck out for me was advice to ‘use this time to see who your real friends are’. Whilst I am an advocate of releasing so-called ‘toxic’ people and surrounding ourselves with those most rewarding of real friends, I could not help but wonder is this really a fair time to be judging others once and for all?

As we all navigate this chapter and the inevitable changes it will bring, surely this is a time to be more forgiving and loving towards one another? Rather than sitting back, silently waiting to see who contacts you, instead be proactive. As you think of a friend, make sure you reach out to them in whatever way they will engage with. 

Rather than a time to compete against one other, this is a time for humankind to be just that…kind.

Gemma is a woman on a mission, an all-round cheerleader for women everywhere who want to create unstoppable self-love beyond loneliness, happiness beyond success and friendship beyond hopelessness.

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