What it is not (according to Webmd.com)
• Loneliness is not simply about being alone. Some people are happy on their own. And it is not how many people you know or how often you see them, or a bad day when you don’t feel connected. The advent of covid-19, has made it compulsory that we must willy-nilly experience loneliness in this lock down.
• What matters is to have strong connections. Those who do, tend to be happier, healthier and more productive.
• Those who don’t, may feel isolated, misunderstood and depressed. It can take a physical toll too. But you can take steps to overcome that.
• Immune system
If you are lonely for a long time, it may make it harder for your body to fight sickness.
Part of the reason for this, may be that loneliness triggers some of the hormones your body makes when you are under stress. And that can dim how well your immune system works, too. Many other things also affect how well your body defends itself. Consult your doctor.
• Blood Pressure
If you are lonely – especially if it lasts for four months or longer, your blood pressure is more likely to go up. Scientists who study this effect cannot prove that loneliness is to blame, but they found that the rise is not caused by other things, like age, gender, diet or family background. So the stress of loneliness is contributory. So engage in a hubby, even while lonely, especially during this covid-19 lock down.
An active lifestyle even while lonely helps keep you well in body and mind. If you are lonely, you are more likely to cut back on or stop your workouts. Do not do that, stay in the game. Walk with a friend, or family member, go to the gym, play a game of neighborhood kickball. Start reading – novels, research works, religious write ups, etc.
Being active with pals is a way to start or grow relationships that make you feel better. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of activity per week. If you have health problems, consult your doctor.
• Mental sharpness
Your ability to solve problems or remember things as you age is likely to be affected if you feel lonely. And you may have a greater chance of a brain disease like Alzheimer. Keep in mind that a lot of things affect your mental stability, although research does not prove that loneliness causes these conditions. But at any stage, finding ways to connect with others is wise.
You are more likely to light up when you are lonely. But this habit is bad for you from head to toe. One of the major manifestations of COVID-19 is respiratory distress. So, imagine the depressive complications that could result if one is also a smoker.
Smoking is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, and lung diseases, and it affects nearly every organ in your body. Some people reach for a cigarette when they are stressed. If that is you, please consult your doctor on how to quit, and find other ways to manage stress. Even if it takes more than one trial to kick the habit, it is worth it. Keep at it.