How To Stay Connected In A World Filled With Loneliness
Are you feeling un-motivated? Apathetic? Loneliness is huge right now. It’s an ever expanding abyss getting bigger and bigger as each day goes on. We may all be experiencing pandemic fatigue. It’s a real thing and you are not alone. With the winter season approaching, the days will become shorter and darkness will increase. Sickness will surge as flu season and our pandemic numbers rise to alarming numbers. Seclusion and isolation are utilized to protect us physically but are harming us mentally and emotionally. Why? Because we were never created to be ALONE we were made to be TOGETHER.
In the Bible when God created Adam, his plan was never meant for him to be alone.
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. ” I will make him a helper fit for him” Genesis 2:18
Adam had all the livestock he could ever want, but there was not a suitable companion for him until God made Eve. “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man (the first anesthestic 😂), and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was take out of Man”. (Genesis 2:20-23).
In the book “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,” by Dr. Vivek Murthy (19th Surgeon General of the United States), he talks about studies that show the power of healing in human connection and community. “When people feel they belong to one another, their lives are stronger, richer, and more joyful.” People who have strong family structures, are apart of supportive groups or communities do better as opposed to those who are alone. With our ever increasing need to physically isolate to stay safe from what’s to come, our need for connection is growing stronger than ever.Loneliness magnifies our pain, contributes to emotional burnout and exhaustion.Click To Tweet
How to Stay Connected In A World Filled With Loneliness
With all the social distancing and quarantines going on, more and more people are feeling apathetic and un-motivated. It’s easy to slip into patterns of laziness and not wanting to engage with others because this is becoming the norm. We were created to do life together not be isolated. Even though there are nationwide mandates to socially isolate and distance, we can still be creative in how we gather together. Life still happens even amidst a pandemic. People still need surgery, they still get cancer, accidents still happen. You can’t stop babies from being born, people finishing their education, or weddings from happening. Life continues on despite our world falling apart.
We need to stay connected. We were made for connection.
So how do we stay connected when the world is telling us to stay apart?
Be real with our emotional and mental state. The best thing we can do right now is to be honest with our emotional state. Be real with how this pandemic is affecting your emotional and mental well being. Talk about it with someone you trust. Whether it be a friend or a counselor, connecting with someone who feels the same way is so powerful. Allowing someone to come alongside you will let you know I see you, I hear you, your problems are known and validated. Your anxieties and fears will be met in your loneliness when you bring them out of the darkness into the light.
“Let light shine out of darkness,” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Acknowledge the struggle. There is power in acknowledging the struggle. There is healing when we can recognize, we aren’t super heroes, we’re human. We won’t be able to always handle the burdens that this pandemic brings, the isolation, the interrupted routines in our schedules, schools, lack of community, connection, the emotional break-downs, financial hardship, the list goes on.
Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks about how the majority of our fears, anxieties, and chronic illnesses are rooted in loneliness. Loneliness was an epidemic before this pandemic even started (the pandemic just unearthed what was already there). The underlying dark common thread of loneliness gives rise to the more overt issues we see on the surface such as addictions, depression, anger, and anxiety which are only the symptoms we see not the root of our issues. These struggles seem to stay in a a cycle of despair because these symptoms and behaviors are believed to be shameful (Murthy, xv).
Find where you belong, join a group. We need each other right now. Finding where we belong is imperative to our mental and emotional states. Find a mentor, join an online community where you can zoom face to face, get outside and do something active to unlock your dopamine supply and connect with others. We may not always be able to meet face to face but we need to be creative in staying connected with one another. We are having to recreate how we meet, how we exercise, how we receive our education, new ways to work from home, how we dine, how we engage in our everyday lives. And it’s tiremsome. It is draining us, making us all weary.
Something changes when we have to wear masks, we lose the ability to see each other’s smiles. Mirror neurons are a real thing, when a person smiles it stimulates another person to smile. We aren’t able to shake hands, hug others the way we used to and it becomes isolating. We are turning off our cameras when we’re in meetings or school so others can’t see we’re really in our pajamas or didn’t put our make-up on and don’t want others to see the real us.
Staying healthy and connected are vital to our emotional and mental health right now. Staying motivated and disciplined to be intentional about the well-being of our health is necessary for our future. This time of isolation does not give us an excuse to stay hidden from our struggles but a perfect time to bring them into the light and be real with them.
To learn more how we are made for connection to do this life together read the book Together by Dr. Vivek Murthy. I learned so much how we are not alone in our loneliness and ways to build community and connect with one another on a deeper level.
Are you feeling un-motivated and apathetic or lonely?
How are you preserving your emotional and mental health right now?
How are you staying connected in a world filled with loneliness right now?
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This is such a timely topic, Heather! I think our society has been on a trend of disconnection and isolation…and the pandemic has only intensified this. God had designed and created us for connection! Thank you for the simple and practical reminders to intentionally connect with others to fight off loneliness.
Thanks Carla! I pray God will use this time to connect and depend on Him in ways we never had before!
Love this post about loneliness! It’s really something that I can relate to. Thanks for sharing this.
Acknowledging how hard things are right now is really important. So often we feel like we can’t talk about it. On the other side, if you’re actually enjoying the slower pace of things, be honest about that too. Shame about our emotions is trying to get us on either end. So I like what you said about our need for connection and find new ways to allow for that. Thank you for these encouraging words in the midst of a hard season.
Yes being real with our emotions and feeling are so vital right now, considering we can’t see people’s facial expressions or smiles. Our interactions with each other has changed drastically and we’re all having to adjust. Thank you for sharing!
One of the ways I’m staying connected in a world where loneliness can overcome us is through digital connections. I find that using message apps and video calls have really added a spark to my days. In fact, with some friends, we’ve started scheduling those connect times on a regular basis.
So interesting how technology was disconnecting us before the pandemic is now joining us together. So great you are being intentional with meeting with others!
Such a great topic to discuss in these times! We were not created for isolation and while getting together with others may look a little different now, it has never been more important. We need each other!
Yes, we need each other!
This is so true, loneliness clasps so many and pulls them into a helpless situation where they become paralysed by fear. Thanks for you inspiration where so many people are struggling right now!
My prayer is people who are struggling with loneliness can come together in their connection with one another and God!
Great advice on ways to combat loneliness, especially during this pandemic! This is hard on all of us. But we can be creative in finding ways to connect. Thank you for sharing this!
Yes, being creative is key!
This is such a beautiful post. I’m more of a stay indoor type of person, so it isn’t so hard for me to adjust.
I made new friends during this period, and in all God has been faithful.
Thanks for sharing
Thank you Vicotry! Yes, I think it’s important even when we’re isolated to still make connections and find new ways to be together.
Such a beautiful post! Truly we’re social creatures and we just must find a way to connect and not be overwhelmed by loneliness.
Such a timely article for the times we live in! Thnk you for sharing.
Heather, you have spoken to a great need. There is a lot of isolation and loneliness in general but especially under the restrictions of the pandemic. Thank you for your compassion and guidance.
Thanks Pam! Yes I think we need to stay aware of times we are lonely and not letting it get the best of us by allowing human connection to still be apart of our lives.
Such a good reminder and you’re right. Masks just seem to make you withdraw a bit. Even my kids have noticed the silence at schools since they have to have masks on all the time. This is such a powerful post and needed reminder. We aren’t meant to live in isolation!
Yes, my hope is we don’t get used to retreating behind the masks and allow us to really show who is behind the mask and not allow the mask wearing to mask who we really are.
Loneliness and disconnection are such a present part of our lives right now. Being connected to other people who can support and encourage you is so important. Even if you can’t be together in person, it’s important to reach out and make those connections. Others are feeling lonely right now as well.
Thank you for this timely post! I definitely feel the loneliness from this pandemic! It does help having connection with family and friends via Zoom calls but I crave ‘real life contact’ with people.
Me too Karen, nothing can replace the face to face interaction and hugs!
I love that you pointed out, “We were created to do life together not be isolated. Even though there are nationwide mandates to socially isolate and distance, we can still be creative in how we gather together. ” I couldn’t agree more!
Thanks Erin! We need each other more than ever!