Bubbling in Isolation
When are you happiest? What is involved in your favourite memories? When do you feel the safest? The most loved? When does your life spark joy? Is it at a time when your family has gone away? When you feel alone and isolated? Or is it when you are amongst family and/or friends – laughing and sharing life?
For me, I am at my best when my family is around. When I am around others. Giving someone a hug. Welcoming someone with a handshake.
A person is a person through other persons; you can’t be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships – Desmond Tutu
Throughout 2020, we have heard many new terms:
- Social Distancing
Each and every single one of these words describes being alone.
Now… I must state that this blog may not coincide with your thoughts and beliefs and that is ok – you don’t have to agree. This is a blog for my thoughts and beliefs.
We are in a society right now that is insisting on isolation and being alone. Our kids get a runny nose and they are shunned from school. We sneeze in a store and people quickly jump to the other side of the aisle. We are unable to visit our loved ones in senior centres or homes. Family members are dying alone in hospitals of cancer or other internal issues. Women are having babies alone, without their husbands present due to hospital restrictions.
Kids today are being taught to fear groups (when it was once encouraged for kids to play in groups – safety in numbers) or that it is unsafe to play inside their best friends’ home. University students are alone in their resident rooms like a jail cell (side note: most residences were designed and constructed with a jail-like model). Little to no interaction with others.
The Effects of Loneliness and Isolation:
- Poor sleep quality
- Cognitive decline
- Decreased immunity
- Early dememtia onset
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Increase stress
- Decreased cardiovascular function
- Increased Mortality
Some may argue that FaceTime, Zoom calls and Skype are the new normal for connection. That we get the same interaction with virtual connection as we do with person in person connection. I will strongly disagree.
A virtual vs. an in-person meeting is the difference between a conversation and a relationship. Anyone can have a conversation, but relationships develop your whole being. Relationships build connections. Relationships develop love. Relationships create intimacy, trust, and empathy.
We were created to be social – Genesis 2:18 – 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
We are designed for connection.
So, to turn this around. What can we do during this time of societal mishap? Connect with someone. Anyone.
If you are married, plan and purposely execute fun daily moments with your spouse. This could be a walk around the block, a snowshoe trip in the woods, or an exciting game of domino’s (or any game really. We have been doing daily games – rummy tiles, darts, pool, boggle, domino’s, galaga for example). Just be intentional about connecting. You’ll soon see the joy and laughter that goes along with games or activities (even my husband breaks out laughing each time he loses to me at our competitive gaming moments lol).
If you have a family; try a hike in the woods, or family game nights with boggle or monopoly.
If you are a single, search out your other single friends and meet up for some face to face conversation through a walk or coffee.
Point in turn, just be intentional. You may need to be creative. You may need to be purposeful. But… just do it! Social interactions are important for mental health and the overall health of you.
I’ve been trying really hard since I have started blogging to NOT write about Covid, but I am seeing the dramatic negative impact that isolation is doing to friends, family and society. A voice needs to be loud and clear to the public about this and I am hoping that my simple little blog just may make an impact in a positive way. The only other time I wrote about our current situation is months ago with reference to Fear. Fear can do wonders to the human soul. It can break it. It can demolish it. It can suffocate it. Fear can lead to so much dispair, torment, and isolation that it will eat away at your happiness and take away your purpose of living life. So stay strong with purpose. Stay strong with personal connection. Stay strong with life and stay strong with faith.
Feel free to share this with your friends via your social media platforms. Spread the word that isolation is far worse than the actual effects of covid. With a 99% survival rate of the virus, but an 800% increase in suicide hotline calls – this isolation just needs to stop. People are desperate for connection. Person to person connection. To laugh with. To cry with. To connect with. Let’s do our part to rebuild what God designed us to be – Living fully and completely with others.
We do not achieve happiness or salvation in isolation from each other, but as members of society – Margaret Thatcher
Links for reference: