Being a kid on the first day of school, losing a loved one, or even outliving your friends are things we can all relate to. These experiences can take the opportunity to create new social connections uncomfortable and anxiety-ridden. Being lonely is something we all go through at one time in our life or another. It is a phenomenon of the human condition. However, as a species, we are not genetically inclined toward chronic loneliness.
“Humans don’t just like to be social, we need to be. In fact, people who have weaker social relationships are 50% more likely to die over a given period than those with more robust connections, according to a 2015 meta-analysis including more than 308,000 people. Put another way, being lonely seems to be as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”
According to the above analytic results, loneliness can have a drastic effect on our overall long-term health. In our current climate of uncertainty and imposed quarantine, loneliness seems like a natural afterthought of being alone.
“Loneliness is much more than just feeling sad or isolated. It is the ultimate ground source of unhappiness—the underlying reality of all negative human behavior that manifests as anxiety, depression, envy, guilt, hostility, or shame. It underlies aggression, domestic violence, murder, PTSD, suicide, and other serious issues.”
If we think of loneliness as a form of being hungry or thirsty, a drive that compels us, then connection is the food that keeps us alive. We need connection more than anything. At Next Breath Counseling, we care about your mental health journey. We now offer teletherapy to give you another option to give you the tools and skills to deal with loneliness, anxiety and any other important issues you would like to discuss.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand there may be real concerns. To address those we would like to share a helpful letter from Jake—should you have any concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch.
NEXT BREATH COUNSELINGs Response to COVID-19:
For the last 2 weeks, NBC has only been offering telehealth, via Zoom, which is a video chat platform that is HIPAA client and pretty user-friendly. I will continue to offer services via Zoom for those who wish to receive psychological support and have zero risks of exposure to COVID-19. For many, however, therapy needs to be in-person to seem effective. I can identify with that because there is certainly less engagement online, you miss out on the exchange of energy and the full experience. At least I feel that way.
I wanted to let you know that I have been in quarantine for the last two weeks, and beginning next week I will begin offering f2f sessions again. I am in good health, not showing symptoms, and have not been exposed to anyone who is otherwise. If you choose to make an appointment and attend a f2f session, I trust you to also be in good health and to not make the appointment, cancel, or reschedule if you have any suspicion that you may have been exposed or that you may have indeed contracted COVID-19. That is, if you have a sore throat, are coughing (especially a dry cough), have a fever or any flu-like symptoms, please fully quarantine yourself and call the hospital to discuss the next steps.
I will be sanitizing surfaces between each client, and we will maintain at least a 6 ft distance at all times. I will ask you to wash your hands at the sink near the restrooms (or in the restroom) before our session, and I will be doing the same.
All of that being said, there is certainly a lot of anxiety flying around out there. If you or someone that you know of are not doing well, please consider setting up an appointment to address your mental health. Preventive action is pretty much always a good idea when it comes to your health, including your mental health. I am very well-versed in diagnosing and treating anxiety and other states of emotional turmoil.
If financial concerns would prohibit you from calling or setting up an appointment, please know that I will be understanding and will work with you or one of your friends or colleagues that comes in. We can discuss such matters individually. The NBC business is strong and robust enough that we can help out people that are not doing so well financially, and we are happy to do so.