Now that we’re all homebound, the weekly routine can feel longer than it used to. It’s becoming apparent how much our mid-week pick-me-ups and weekend get-togethers with loved ones makes time fly. In the absence of this physical connection, we are now subject to one of America’s greatest fears and tribulations: loneliness.
According to a recent report by Cigna, 3 out of every 5 Americans feel lonely—and that data was gathered prior to social distancing. It’s a pre-existing issue that’s been agitated by the requirement to create distance right now; but it’s also giving us an opportunity to redefine how we spend time alone.
Distance Is Not Isolation
Even for those living alone, distance does not mean isolation. Spending time alone can be a gift of solitude, a time to nourish our inner-selves; it can be so much richer than we’d have imagined.
But there’s no way around it, humans need connection to thrive. With things appearing like they may be like this for the foreseeable future, it’s on us to nurture our connections with loved ones, family, and friends, no matter the distance.
Here are some of our favorites that, when sprinkled throughout the week, can remind you the world is still a very much alive, connected place.
Handwrite a letter to a loved one.
Handwriting a note to a friend or family member is one of the most powerful ways to pause, reflect, and express gratitude. In fact, both handwriting and gratitude activate areas of the brain in unique ways that digital messages can’t, and when the two are combined, magic happens in the brain. A study at Indiana University witnessed “increased activity in three areas of the brain that are activated in adults when they read and write”, while a University of Southern California study found “gratitude activated areas of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, moral cognition, and fairness.”
You may have noticed we include a Rosie’s Wonders Connection Card in each of our orders with a pre-stamped envelope. We truly believe in the potency of a pause, pen, and paper and hope you use your Connection Card to let someone know you’re thinking of them during this time.
Have a Zoom date.
At this point, odds are you’ve attended a virtual yoga class or even a happy hour over the popular video conferencing platform, Zoom. If you haven’t, we highly recommend jumping on this bandwagon. Zoom isn’t just for business meetings, it’s for connecting with our loved ones, seeing their expressions, and continuing to share experiences from Sunday dinner to a 60th birthday party.
With Zoom topping Apple’s app store at #1, it’s no surprise that, as the New York Times put it, “we live in Zoom now.”
Meditate with a group.
Everywhere we go, we seem to see the phrase “uncertain times.” We are living in uncertain times. While COVID-19 has brought this to the forefront, we always live in uncertainty. We’re never guaranteed what will happen next. This is why practicing presence of mind is so crucial to mental wellbeing and stability in such a fleeting, impermanent world. Cultivating presence helps us stay connected to the preciousness of the present moment and creates space for us to hold our challenges with wisdom and greater ease.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to practice presence and there are endless resources, books, podcasts, and apps that can help you get started. For The Biome even offers free, live and guided mindfulness meditations led by our Co-Founder and long-time meditation teacher, Barbi Schulick. You can find our recordings here or join our live meditation every Wednesday at 11:30AM EST.
 * Konnikova, M. (2014). What’s lost as handwriting fades?. The New York Times. University of Southern California (USC) Brain and Creativity Institute - (Fox GR et al. 2015).
Written By Dina Chouramanis