Social connection more important now than ever before - Dr Cribb-Sua’a

As of yesterday, the concept of “social distancing” has been reintroduced into New Zealanders' daily lives.

However, a Māori clinical psychologist says Kiwis should throw away that term and replace it with “physical distancing" because there is a need to be more socially connected during this second wave of lockdown.

“As health professionals, we are trying to promote the concept of physical distancing as opposed to social distancing,” Dr Ainsleigh Crib-Su'a says.

“We want them to get on the facetime and have real conversations with real people."

She also says that in this second round of lockdown, Aotearoa is more prepared to cope with the effects lockdown will have on our mental well-being, despite some uncertainty about the extent of the current quarantine period.

“We have done this before and, as a nation, we are much more resilient in coping with this now and we have the insight into what it’s like.”

The clinical consultant at Fresh Minds Enterprise offered some advice for those trying to find a balance between using social devices and keeping a healthy mind: “If your device time or use of technology is preventing you from sleeping well, eating healthily, getting regular exercise, interacting with those in your bubble and taking time to contemplate and be mindful, then perhaps it's time to reduce your device time.”

She says people should make one of their top priorities during this second wave of lockdown to nurture their mental wellbeing.