Author’s note: In extreme cases, opt for professional help. These are some self-nurturing and self-healing ways to combat the epidemic of loneliness. If you face severe anxiety or are coping with loneliness, consult your doctor for the right treatment.
Did you know that a human can survive for three minutes without air?
Do you know a human can survive for three days without water?
Did you know a human can survive for three weeks without food? (I am going to try this.)
While there is no evidence of how long one can survive without companionship, the loneliness of the pandemic is making it worse to survive.
The pandemic has bought with it an epidemic of loneliness for most of us.
What was the norm, suddenly became unreachable overnight. Whether we were in different cities or whatever the reasons were, we couldn’t meet our loved ones, and it was difficult for all of us. We sat cooped in one home with zero interaction with the real world for almost four months. The virtual world was where our only friends “lived.” Many of us crumbled within or broke down; however, there were also far more resilient people out there who came up with ways to combat the epidemic of loneliness.
We’ve just crossed the one-year mark of the coronavirus turning our world upside down. As we move into the second year of it all with the Damocles’ sword looming over our heads, let’s fight this battle of loneliness that is affecting our mental health together.
Here are five ways to combat the epidemic of loneliness:
Most of us may not realize it, but loneliness is a complex emotion. We can feel lonely in crowded places or even when surrounded by our family and friends. The lack of social interaction in the pandemic has heightened the feeling of loneliness in people—in some cases leading to severe mental health issues like depression or binge eating.
2. Have a go-to friend.
Have a go-to friend. If you are feeling low and lonely, reach out to your friends to seek support from them. When you build stronger social relationships, you are less likely to feel lonely. Just to know that you may have even that one friend to speak to can help in many ways to combat the epidemic of loneliness.
3. Reach out.
Sadly, we still live in a world where mental health issues are not yet spoken about in the open. Reaching out to a friend or a therapist helps combat the epidemic of loneliness. Letting out our emotions to the people listening to our mumble-jumble of our minds is needed. If someone reaches out, do not shun them, hear them out.
4. Get a Pet.
They say that pets, especially dogs and cats, help to combat loneliness. So if you have been on the fence and wondering if you should have a pet, consider getting one now. Pets uncannily help us connect with other people when we walk them around outside. It opens us up to a community of other animal lovers. And the best part? Pets provide unconditional love, which is a great salve for loneliness.
5. Avoid the comparison.
Most of us are a part of social media. At the end of the day, mindless scrolling on our social media makes us believe that someone else’s life is much better than ours. We tend to believe that other people’s lives are better and less lonely than ours at the moment.
Remember that often, we only see what other people want to share about their lives and what they want us to see on social media. Remind yourself that you don’t know how other people feel when they are alone, or when their social media feeds are turned off.