Is 'Loneliness' the silent Pandemic on the rising?

Is protecting our physical health at the cost of our mental health the solution?

Did you know before COVID, more than 33% of the world population suffered from loneliness? Imagine now with social distancing, fear of infections, and scarcity of resources how many more men, women, and children across the globe are getting lonelier? Alarming, isn't it?

Often people associate ‘being alone’ with ‘loneliness’.

Let us explore the difference and the impact the two terms have on individuals and our society. In this fast-paced external validation driven lifestyle, almost everyone gets pulled in by numbers as a yardstick of success. It results in our racing on a treadmill of achievements fearing to stop, as that might push us behind on the winning charts.

We all need 'me time' to cool down and recharge ourselves, just like any machine or gadget does. When our computer hangs, using common sense, we shut it temporarily or reboot it. However, when it comes to our life, heating up and getting discharged, we forget to pause and reset ourselves. We push ourselves till we crash, and all our applications automatically collapse on us.

'Being alone' is a conscious choice made to recharge ourselves. It is a reflective, restorative, and rejuvenating process to connect with our feelings, stories, and patterns. Since we are always on the go, we are often unaware of the patterns we get caught into and burn ourselves out by looping ourselves in stress. It is only in the 'being' that we can attend to our internal chaos that creates constant mental chatter.

People choose to go on retreats; some undertake activities as their downtime like gardening, pottery, sports, mediation, or some form of creativity; each person has their frequency of 'me time' that resonates with them. It helps recharge and return empowered and enlightened, ready to execute, resulting in higher engagement and better performance.

However, 'being lonely' is disempowering and deserting. One can be lonely despite being surrounded by people. It is a passive choice absorbed by the individual feeling isolated, misunderstood, and rejected.

Human beings are social animals living in a society. The word society originates from the Latin word 'socius' meaning companion. Living in a society means having companionship and enjoying affectionate, authentic association with others.

To reduce loneliness pandemic, we need authentic communication. We need engagement, time, and patience for ourselves and each other. The most significant setback of modern-day progress has cost compassionate human interaction.

Why are we choosing Artificiality over Authenticity?

We can only make our society sustainable with sensitivity towards each other. Otherwise, sadly we may be distancing our human race into robots. Humans thrive on connection, communication, and compassion. Let us lookout for each other and keep the circuit of companionship flowing. You never know how many lives can be saved by a small yet authentic smile. Let us not make this physical distancing a social distancing. Reach out to others as there could be someone not in a space to seek help. Your attention could give them a reason to be alive again.

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loneliness COVID-19


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