Commentary: Your social wellness matters, too

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for our nation, to say the least. As we navigate to try and find a routine that best meets our “new normal,” it’s important to remember how crucial our wellness is – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and yes, even socially.

How do we ensure we’re meeting our social wellness needs when the term “social distancing” has become a common phrase in battling COVID-19? Easy. We change the phrase to “physical distancing,” and in turn, we hopefully change the mindset. The CDC says to “Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.” While it’s a bad idea to visit Grandma right now, there’s nothing saying you can’t FaceTime her.

The same goes for your Wingmen.

We live in an age where some of the most advanced technology is literally at our fingertips. There is no excuse for us to NOT stay connected. It could be just a text to a co-worker asking how he’s doing. A phone call to your workout partner to ask if she needs anything. A video chat with your Airman just to have eyes on him, so when he says he’s okay, you can see that he actually is.

I know at this very moment that there are some people reading this and the thought of a video call makes them cringe a little. I did when I had to do my first video conference meeting this week. But to my surprise, it was actually nice to see the people I had been seeing on a daily basis just a few weeks ago.

We are all dealing with something we’ve never experienced before. We have fellow service members who are on the frontlines keeping their communities safe. Some of us are trying to balance our work life and home life when both have become intermingled. Let’s not forget about the parents who have become teachers overnight as our children learn what distance learning is. And those aren’t even the biggest stressors that people around the world are currently facing. We’re living in such uncertainty right now – it’s more crucial than ever for us to find a way to stay connected. If not for yourself, then for your Airmen.

Keep yourself safe and practice physical distancing – stay at least six feet apart from those around you, and limit the number of people you come into contact with. But don’t distance yourself socially from your families, friends and Wingmen. Stay safe, and stay connected.