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February 23, 2021 4 min read
By Sean Lake

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

You’ve probably heard the term, “Laughter is contagious,” or experienced the phenomenon firsthand. Someone says something amusing, people laugh, the cycle begins. It is difficult - if not impossible - to avoid getting swept up in the joy of the situation.

We are emotional beings. These emotions can be positively or negatively influenced by situations, environments or other people and their emotions. We were also created to be in a community with one another, not stowed away in our houses, out of touch with the world. It is through communication and interactions with others that we grow and learn, becoming the person we want to be. As the old adage goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Loneliness As An Influence

Ask anyone and they’re likely to admit they’ve experienced the feeling of loneliness at some point in their life. Especially today, when quarantines and statewide lockdowns clutter the modern-day narrative, people spend less and less time in contact with real people, and more and more time interacting virtually. And certainly, virtual communication has been a blessing for many individuals, for the purpose of corporate, personal or familial communication. However, oftentimes this virtual communication can come at the price of in-person interaction.

Isolation - More Than Physical

Research from Oxford University Press finds that “Limited social interactions, such as in lockdown, will affect the body at three levels, physiological, psychological, and behavioural, and increase traditional risk factors and thus risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) itself. For example, such people have an increased likelihood of depression, having a poor diet, being sedentary, and having increased blood pressure.”

Additionally, another source links isolation-induced loneliness to “poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function and impaired immunity at every stage of life” as well as “the risk of premature death from every cause for every race.”

In other words, quarantine flings open the door to bad habits like day-drinking, binge-watching/eating and lazy living.

Here’s The Dilemma

This truth introduces us to an interesting conundrum. Today, immunity is a global focus, everything from following masking and social distancing protocols to an emphasis on daily health and wellness. Bars, restaurants, gyms, dance studios and schools closed their doors and in some states, they don’t even know when they’ll reopen. The removal from social contact continues indefinitely.

The unintended consequences of social distancing, however, can hurt our immune systems while we’re trying to protect them. We need to find new ways to spend time around others, to hear their words, to listen to their stories, to experience life alongside them in order to feel seen, known and loved. For this reason, the importance of real interaction with others can’t be stressed enough.

Here are a few ways you can begin to bridge the distance between social isolation and real socialization:

  • Reach out - Don’t wait for people to come to you. Go to them. Odds are, they need social contact just as much as you do. Call up that friend to go out for happy hour if your state is open; ask them to run to the grocery store with you to pick out some healthy meals for the next week; see if they want to come over a couple of times a week for living-room yoga or HIIT sessions; go to a drive-thru and eat in the car together while building a collaborative Spotify playlist of your favorite songs.
  • Check-in - Maybe work from home has you swamped. Thank goodness for text messages, because they’re meant for more than just communicating with your boss. Send a quick text to your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your brother or sister, anybody - just to wish them well. It’s amazing what simple communication can do to a person’s mood when they receive a message as simple as, “Hey, thinking about you. I hope you’re having a good day (insert favorite emoji here).”
  • Give a gift - The internet has graced us with the ability to virtually send money to anyone. So send $5 to your best friend, your favorite coworker or your long-distance significant other, and tell them to treat themselves. It’ll make their day and will make you feel close to them.

Time To Get Creative

You can reach out to your people however you like, but make sure you do it. Because having those conversations with your people will boost your mood, boost your immunity and protect your heart and brain in ways you couldn’t possibly even realize. It’s up to you to take isolation out of social distancing.

And of course, it’s important to make sure you’re putting the right things in your body. To give your immune system the best chance to succeed, why not fill it with a megadose of Vitamin C? Check out our Fountain of Youth blend - collagen protein and MCT powder fortified with Vitamin C and antioxidants - for another proven method for bolstering immune functionality.