If you have ever seen the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks, then you know the need we all have for connection. Even on a tiny deserted island, he creates Wilson from a volleyball so that he has someone to talk to each day. God, in the opening chapters of Genesis, says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We are created with this desire for interaction with other people.
With that said, the current situation calls for us to remain home in quarantine as much as possible. To keep the virus from spreading, we are being called to isolation rather than connection. The result is that people are getting lonely.
I have seen the effects of this every day for the last two weeks. I have started working at home because someone would see I was at the Church building and want to stop and talk. The hours quickly melted away, and I could get no other work done. Recently I have been spending hours on the phone because every five-minute conversation has turned into a thirty-minute one. The number of texts to my phone has now more than quadrupled. Don’t take this as me complaining, as I am just stating the facts. People are longing for connection.
Let me give you three simple ideas to fight loneliness.
- Take time to PRAY for other people. This will get you out of your head and force you to think about other people.
- Use a piece of PAPER and a PEN. Take out an old-fashioned paper and pen and write a letter or card. Texts are easy. Emails are a little better. If you sit down and take the time to write to someone, you will be more personal and more invested. When I receive a card or letter, it lets me know that this person put in time and effort.
- Reach out in PERSON. This doesn’t mean a visit right now, but the phone is always available. Personally, I have been calling my mom each day. As time wears on and we run out of the usual chit chat, I find we are starting to talk more about our thoughts and feelings. Don’t wait for someone to reach out to you, take the initiative, and make the call.
I hope you are not feeling lonely, but we are looking at 30 more days of this “stay at home” order. It is bound to start having an impact on you emotionally. When it does, take the opportunity to use one of these tips listed above. Here is the exciting thing, as you search to cure your cabin fever, you will find that you are a blessing to someone else. Being isolated does not mean that we are alone.