It’s still May, and it’s still #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth. Mental health is important all year, but May is a great time to renew focus on a critical, but often overlooked, issue.
Today I wanted to focus on the importance of togetherness, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social isolation and its sequelae have affected us all in one way or another over the past 15 months or so. Why is this important? Studies have shown that social isolation can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. In other words, you can suffer from serious health problems or die at a younger age than you would have otherwise, simply by not socializing and interacting with others in meaningful ways.
According to the CDC,
- Social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes
- Social isolation is associated with approximately a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.
- Poor social relationships are associated with an increased risk of heart disease (29%) and stroke (32%)
- Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Of course, it is of utmost importance during the pandemic to take appropriate precautions and socialize in a safe manner in accordance with national and local health department guidelines, but we can still find ways to feel connected during these difficult times. So what can you do?
- Take an outdoor yoga class at your local park
- Join a local running group for weekly social runs
- Meet up with small groups of loved ones for a picnic or lunch at an outdoor cafe
- Help others out by volunteering, perhaps at your local food bank
- Send a kind message to a coworker
- Call or send a handwritten letter to a friend (doesn’t get more personal than that!)
Although #socialisolation is real and can have devastating consequences, don’t forget that you are #NotAlone. If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical condition due to social isolation and seeking advice, please reach out to us at Salveo Direct Care to discuss how to get the medical care you deserve through one of our affordable monthly memberships.