Loneliness Is On the Rise
Loneliness is not spending part of your time engaged in a solitary pursuit, whether taking a walk, reading a book, or enjoying a beautiful sunrise. A blend of being alone and spending time with others is healthy.
Human beings are social creatures, and loneliness threatens our emotional and physical well-being. According to Scientific American, three out of five Americans report feeling lonely – nearly 61 percent of those surveyed. The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the number of people who feel their need for meaningful social contact is unfulfilled.
Despite having more ways than ever to connect digitally, many of us are physically isolated. And too much time alone can be dangerous to your health.
How Loneliness Impacts Your Health
Loneliness signals that we don’t have enough interaction with other people. According to medical research, loneliness and social isolation increase your risk for many physical and mental conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Weakened immune system
- Cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s
Causes of Loneliness
Loneliness may result from chronic health issues, finances, grief, or other circumstances. Young people and seniors are most susceptible to loneliness. Students who once attended crowded schools might still be distance learning. Older people who have outlived many relatives and have limited mobility are vulnerable to loneliness.
Small Acts of Kindness Are Thoughtful Surprise
July 11th is Cheer Up the Lonely Day. Francis Pesek of Detroit, Michigan, created this light-hearted holiday decades ago. Described by his daughter as a “wonderful man with a heart of gold,” Francis decided to spend the day after his birthday visiting shut-ins and people in nursing homes.
There are many ways to brighten a lonely person’s life on #CheerUpLonelyDay. We’ve created a list of simple kindness. Create your own Kindness Jar with these printable slips. It takes little effort, but the rewards are tremendous for the giver and recipient. Download and get started now!