This is a post to serve as a kind reminder. Human connection is necessary for our mental and physical well-being. Pleasant human interactions contribute to our experience of connection, which can bring attrition as normal, but it will also bring joy. Exchange of thoughts and ideas keep our brain active. Sharing experiences makes the very experience more meaningful. Having tasks that can be split among people helps the work get finished faster. Being around others makes the chances of receiving help in emergencies higher. In research we see that people who have positive and strong relationships, have better mental and emotional capacities, as well as stronger immune system, which accumulatively contribute toward health and longevity.
Of course, that’s not to say that people who live alone or have a small circle of people are doomed. Humans have extreme resilience to survive and lead a good life even in difficult situations. Loneliness is one of those difficult situations. And nomad lifestyle can be a lonely journey. Please, don’t worry if this is the case. However, please, do give it a try to increase your interactions with other people.
Given the lock-down that has been in place for weeks and in some countries or states still continues, human interactions have been lowered. At the same time though, virtual connection has increased the most. Try to keep this going by adding activities with other people.
I don’t normally like to give solutions or suggestions, but today, I will ask you to follow this activity:
Take an envelop or create one with a piece of paper and put little pieces of paper, which will suggest interactive activities. Make an agreement with yourself to pick one activity from the envelop every day and carry it out. Also, have the envelop near and pick an activity whenever you feel lonely. This will give you a little game that will contribute towards positive interactions. I suggest some activities to write on the little pieces that you will put into the envelop:
- Call one member of your paternal/maternal family and talk with them for at least 20 minutes. Have a nice exchange of how your and their life is going.
- Call one of your siblings and talk to them for at least 20 minutes. If you don’t have siblings, call a cousin, or a nephew or niece.
- Call a friend
- Play a board game with a friend (physically if possible, online if that’s the only option)
- Do something that will be helpful to someone else (examples):
- take the recyclables or garbage of your family, or your neighbor to the designated area
- wash the dishes for everyone you had a meal with
- walk the neighbors dogs (with or without them)
- Arrange to have lunch with one or a group of people you don’t see everyday
- Write an email or a letter (if you like tradition) to a friend or family member, expressing what you appreciate on them. Don’t ask anything in return, just express what you like about them. It will make them smile a lot, but surprisingly, it will make you smile thinking of it as well
- Create something and gift it to any person in your life (if you like to crochet, make a hat, if you do origami do the simplest box, if you are not crafty, take a piece of paper, turn it in ways that look like a flower, give it some color with a marker and give it to anyone that walks by you)
- Say good morning/afternoon to 5 strangers, like you mean it, not typically.
- Tell your partner that you love them, or instead of calling them their name, call them “love,” or “sweetheart,” or anything else that comes more natural to you.
- Give a compliment to two people.
Don’t follow my activities to the letter. Think of your own as well. Include actions of connection, actions of fun, and actions of random kindness with no expectations.
Try it once a day, or if it is too much for you, try it at least once and week and let me know, if it has affected you at all.