Self-care by Michelle Montgomery

Mental health IS health. Humans are wired for Connection. When we are deprived of live human interaction, we suffer. Loneliness can affect anyone, at any point in life. A 2018 survey by Cigna (https://www.cigna.com/about-us/newsroom/studies-and-reports/loneliness-questionnaire) found that loneliness is a growing health problem, and was so even before the pandemic. The survey results showed:

  • Nearly 50% of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone
  • Gen Z (adults age 18-22) is the loneliest generation

Loneliness can be due to many factors and can have long-term effects on both your physical and mental health. Here are some tips to help when you feel lonely:

  • Acknowledge your feelings of loneliness, realizing how you feel and the impact it is having on your life–
    • Connect to your “inner world”: Try talking to a therapist or counselor
    • Connect in “real life”: Talk to family & friends
      • Create a time to check in at regular intervals
      • Establish “cues” to indicate when you might be struggling and need to connect
    • Know when to engage or disengage from social media & the online world
    • Find a volunteer opportunity
    • Channel your interests: Join a club or special interest group with in-person connections
    • Create a vision board: remind yourself of your goals
    • Find your “furry friends”: Adopt a pet if it fits your lifestyle
    • Be nice to yourself: Practice self-care–
      • Exercise
      • Sunshine
      • Meditation
      • Healthy diet
      • Sleep hygiene

REMEMBER: self-care is NOT selfish!