By Heather Kamper, LCSW
Clinical Counselor, Work/Life Connections-EAP
No vaccine can stop it. No masks can prevent its spread. It permeates the lives of most of us at one time or another. Although technological advances such as telehealth and online meeting platforms have added efficiency and immediacy to our lives in many realms, the experience of loneliness has grown as the disparities in access widen. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, released an 85-page advisory declaring loneliness a new public health epidemic in the United States.
The science of loneliness tells us that the health impacts are real, the well-being consequences are significant, so how do we intervene to improve the quality of our connectedness?
- Think about intentional opportunities in your personal and professional life to nurture relationships. Have lunch with a colleague, a walk with a neighbor, or engage in a conversation with a friend.
- Consider ways to connect with others such as taking advantage of local events and activities, volunteering, or engaging in shared religious practices. Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight—"one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled and more productive lives,” notes Dr. Murthy.
- Reinforce the kinds of connection where we can “cultivate values of kindness, respect, service, and commitment to one another.”
If you are struggling with your mental well-being exacerbated by isolation or loneliness, call 615-936-1327 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our EAP Counselors. Work/Life Connections-EAP is a program focused on elevating your psychological resilience.