Social Impacts of Covid19!

Missing a cup of brew with a good friend: A therapist’s perspective

Grabbing a cup of coffee with a good friend is a universal experience. Memorable cities around the world have wonderful coffee shops where local residents and international travellers meet to share good conversations over an excellent cup of coffee.

During this Corona Virus pandemic, many of you are probably missing this regular social habit that brings friends together in enjoyable ways. Most therapists understand the importance of a soothing cup of tea or coffee during a highly engaging and stimulating conversation with each other.

Sometimes, experiences drinking a cup or tea or coffee with friends opens up deep and reflective conversations that might not otherwise happen. Perhaps, the soothing comfort of a hot drink elicits subconscious and warmhearted memories of nurturance provided in your earliest years by your Ma, Mommy, Mama, Mummy, Mom, or Mother.

As a nursing infant you were only ever fed your mother’s milk or formula that was a tad warmer than your human body temperature. The warm and loving sensation that you experienced as an infant with your primary caregiver provided the foundation upon which you enter social relationships today.

Stemming from a variety of psychodynamic and attachment-based theories, there is a lot of scientific evidence to support the role of nurturing mothers in raising adults with the capacity to establish trusting social networks of friends, spouses, and families. A bio-psycho-social framework for understanding social relationships has enhanced modern views about intimacy, child-rearing practices, conduct disorders, delinquency, self-esteem, resilience, and more.

By now, most of you are likely missing your friends and your daily or weekly habit of grabbing a coffee with one or more of them. You may find yourself experiencing sensations of withdrawal, similar to physical cravings created when you are hungry, or thirsty.

Loneliness is a physical sensation that you feel in your body. Many of you will experience a sense of loneliness in your stomach or gut, sternum or heart area, and depending on the nature of your friendship, in your pelvis and sex organs.

Loneliness is also a psychological sensation that may result in increased feelings of sadness, worry, irritability, or despair. Many of you may be feeling more emotional than normal during periods of self-isolation, especially if you live on your own and are no longer able to work away from home.

Finally, loneliness is a social sensation that helps you to identify what it really means to be on your own for significant chunks of time. It is also a social experience that many find uncomfortable, bleak, unexciting, and boring.

Spending more time on your own and with family will likely create opportunities to reflect on the importance of friends in your life. It will remind you about the value of a good cup of coffee and a great story that brightens up your day.

Sunny dispositions deserve to shine! Here’s to enjoying the anticipated joy that a good cup of coffee with a good friend will bring AFTER the COVID 19 restrictions have lifted.

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