With another lockdown coming, more stringent than the other community quarantine anti-Covid measures, how many of you are yelling, “Not again!”
But then, the more dangerous Delta variant is posing a bigger threat to public health as cases of Covid-19 infections are spiking up again.
And while optimism and positivity are helpful in going through living a pandemic, among the feelings most people experience is loneliness. From the windows that allowed us to meet family and friends when the community quarantine was eased in the past months and with more people getting vaccinated, we ought to have learned how the drill goes when one is confined at home to work and live, and especially if one lives alone.
Personal circumstances have forced me to live alone for the past months. The solitude, at first, was helpful as it allowed me to immerse in writing,
self-care and meditation. But as weeks went by, I also realized being alone without any human contact, let alone speaking to anyone, can also be alienating. Humans, after all, are social beings who need other people to survive and grow.
According to a report by Psychology Today in 2020, scientists found that despite the need for physical distancing to avoid virus infection, isolation has taken its toll on oxytocin deprivation. Also called “love hormones,” oxytocin gives people a sense of happiness, security, trust, and even sexual arousal.
The report added that the new-normal ways of socializing, mainly online, have led to loneliness, fear and anxiety as levels of oxytocin in the body decrease. Though emotional connections could still be made without physical contact during, for instance, video calls and Zoom meetings, it’s still necessary for humans to yearn for the warmth of a hug and caring touch.
Scientists found that despite the need for physical distancing to avoid virus infection, isolation has taken its toll on oxytocin deprivation.
When these feelings of social isolation sinks in, psycohologist Erin Leyba of Psychology Today urges people to consciously seek connection with those they love and care about. FaceTime, she adds, could be a call with family members, connecting with kids (nieces or nephews) to play or reading books aloud to them to gain the positive effects of oxytocin during this pandemic.
For those unable to function with their daily tasks and who feel they’re sinking into depression, seeking counselling is an encouraged option. Mental wellness is part of one’s total
Yet, when quietude settles in one’s solitary space, it’s also important to know that the mind is a formidable companion. Having coffee or wine with loneliness is a hard thing to do, but take heart in the Sanskrit word Samtusta. It means satisfaction and contentment — conveying that whatever one has right now is enough to keep the person happy.
The poet Maya Angelou once said, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
In a fast-paced,
Covid-imperiled world, being anxious about the future or harboring feelings of abandonment by people you used to hang on to for emotional support is natural. Friends, like you, might also be going through their own trials — that’s why they haven’t been chatting you up lately. The same could be true for the lovelorn who dreams of having a sweetheart or life partner soon — it may not be the time yet.
Here’s another inspiring quote from Buddha on reckoning with one’s self: “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Learning to be enough doesn’t mean being perfect or being a narcissist. No, far from it. It only means acknowledging your strength, counting your achievements despite a challenging period, and being grateful for the kindness and love of the people who surround you.
The ECQ might mean more time for solitude but more than a year is enough to remake a person. Have faith in your own wonderful evolution. You will always be enough.