It isn’t a secret that last year brought with it a glaring focus on how lonely we as adults might really be. Quarantine and necessary distance forced some of us to take an entirely new look at our lives, potentially feeding into the workforce’s newfound thirst for remote offices in order to cement existing relationships at home. From the commercialism of romantic tropes to the necessity of cohesiveness between work colleagues–focus on our relationships has often been a nuanced topic.
A recent SNL sketch, titled “Man Park,” struck a poignant chord for many viewers suffering from adult loneliness. That chord resounded so acutely that psychotherapist Avrum Weiss, Ph.D., wrote this piece for Psychology Today regarding the sketch. Weiss observes how men in particular struggle with feelings of loneliness, which consequently affect overall health and longevity.
But as previously mentioned, rising loneliness in adults isn’t a secret. What is more difficult to grasp is what can be done to remedy it. Psychotherapist Amy Morin, in her piece for Business Insider, writes about what we should not do if we wish to forge transcendent relationships. Foremost among these, Morin suggests that we not hide who we are. “It’s important to be OK enough with yourself that you can acknowledge the things you don’t necessarily like. Coming clean takes strength, but it’ll free you up to focus on becoming a better version of yourself.”
In her TED Talk, Mental Health Researcher Olivia Remes, expands upon the ubiquitous advice to “just go out there and meet people,” noting that this isn’t as easy to do as it sounds. Remes advocates for making the most of our current routines. Do we go to the gym regularly? Visit the same grocery store or coffee shop weekly? Then start conversations with familiar faces in these environments!
Remes quotes, “If mice see that something doesn’t work out, they try something else. But humans will go back to doing the same thing they’ve always done and repeat their mistakes.” So today, let’s try something new! Ask a familiar face about their day. Spark a connection and be the invigorating rainbow in a dreary sea of gray.
“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”
— Audrey Hepburn
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