Edward Hallowell, author of The Human Moment at Work, has said “Human beings are remarkably resilient. They can deal with almost anything as long as they do not become too isolated.”
Loneliness in the United States is at epidemic levels. We are rushing from one Zoom call to another or serving customers who don’t even look us in the eyes as they rush to their next commitment.
Harvard Graduate School of Education conducted a national survey in 2020 and found 36% of respondents reported serious loneliness—feeling lonely “frequently” or “almost all the time or all the time” in the four weeks prior to the survey. This included 61% of young people aged 18-25 and 51% of mothers with young children. About half of lonely young adults in our survey reported that no one in the past few weeks had “taken more than just a few minutes” to ask how they are doing in a way that made them feel like the person “genuinely cared.”
As a next step in your self-care check in, try these steps:
- Ask yourself: who might I like to reach out to for connection? Identify friends and family you have lost touch with and set aside a few minutes to make a phone call or plan a date.
- Think about activities you enjoy and invite someone to join you or seek out a group or class where you can meet like-minded people
- Take a morning walk around the block before you sit down at your desk, or go out to work at a cafe to keep your routine fresh.
- When you end your workday, take the time to connect with the people you live with. As advanced as our technology has become, science has shown that there is no substitution for in-person interaction. Connecting with others, particularly through eye contact, causes the release of beneficial hormones throughout the brain that promote stress reduction and good health.
- Take some time to connect with your children, eat dinner facing your roommates, or spend an intimate moment making eye contact with your spouse or your significant other. Live alone? Studies indicate that making eye contact with your dog is nearly as effective at triggering the release of the powerful neuropeptide oxytocin.
- Share a funny social media video or post or take time to connect with coworkers about what is happening in their lives.
Consider this list and come up with your own and don’t be afraid to share this post or your feelings about being lonely with others. Remember, you are not alone. By taking time to reflect on this and then taking action, you will see a ripple effect of healing and wholeness as you do. Another easy addition? Add daily use of Wild Calm™ THC-FREE CBD products to enhance your wellness.