July is the month that plays host to the unofficial “Cheer Up the Lonely” day, but we think that should be expanded to this entire year, and probably the one before, while we’re at it!
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), “Loneliness is the subjective human experience of not having sufficient social connections”.
Loneliness is an inevitable part of life and most of us experience it at some point. For some people however, loneliness can be a daily struggle and can have a detrimental impact on mental and physical well-being. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people suffering from loneliness has undoubtedly increased. According to Statistics Canada, “currently many Canadians are experiencing social isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
With populations suddenly being cut off from their social networks, the past year and a half has been incredibly difficult for many. We need connection more now than ever as we try to navigate a different life during this pandemic.
It used to be understood that older adults were the most at risk for loneliness due to a greater chance of living alone, loss of family and friends, widowhood, divorce, or chronic illness, but recent studies have shown that more and more younger people are reporting feelings of loneliness, and this has only been exacerbated by the current pandemic. With at-home schooling, “social distancing” and lockdowns, studies are showing that loneliness is worryingly a growing trend.
According to Loneliness in America, a recent report by Harvard University, about 36% of Americans reported feeling “serious loneliness” in the wake of the pandemic. Of these respondents, 61% were aged 18 to 25 years old, and 43% reported increases in loneliness since the pandemic began.
As society emerges from this lengthy period of isolation, we in our neighbourhood can commit to making this a summer of reconnection. Shop local. Stop and talk to your neighbours. Say hello to essential workers in the grocery store or people delivering packages to your door. Take the time to give a friend or loved one that long-overdue call. Check in on the people around you.
And what better way to brighten someone’s day and let them know you’re thinking about them, than by sending flowers! Studies have shown that flowers have a long-term positive effect on mood. According to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, “participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.” Getting flowers shows you matter to someone. A little gesture can go such a long way, and we can help! To place an order, head on over to our website Oleander.ca, give us a call on (416) 236 8273, or come and say hi in person in our gift shop! (Max. 4 customers at a time)
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