Recently in an Oprah Magazine column, she mentioned that
while Thanksgiving is a day for togetherness, many people seem to be having a
hard time making real and lasting connections; loneliness has become a serious
Research indicates that loneliness affects more than
one-third of American adults, and those facing challenging life circumstances
like the loss of a loved one, a chronic or catastrophic illness, heart disease mental
illness or cancer. Certain age groups, adolescents, young and older adults seem
to especially at risk marked by a growing incidence of depression, substance abuse
Despite thinking the Internet offers greater connections,
it has been found Internet and social media engagement may exacerbate feelings
of loneliness, depression and anxiety. The health risks are comparable to the
dangers of smoking and obesity increasing mortality risk by up to 30%! While the holidays may be joyous for some, it
is a time to take the opportunity to reach out to others and extend a friendly hand. Don’t stand on ceremony and put
perceived notions aside.
There is a
sweet lady living in a nearby senior community who baked banana bread for
everyone who moved to the community.
She’d drop by their residence and deliver a loaf welcoming the person to
the community. My neighbor and I
recently threw a small housewarming party for a new family that just moved in
across the street, I think it felt as
good to me as it did to them! I make
sure to include my single friends in my holiday pans, it always easy to include
one more. As a widow myself, I’m always
grateful to be included in my friends and neighbor’s plans, it’s easy to forget
how alone someone can be.
My mother who is 91, is fiercely independent widow and
lives at home with her dog. She is so appreciative to be included in her
neighbor’s plans. She doesn’t originate invitations
often, but trust me, she is thrilled when the phone rings and someone extends
an invitation to her. From something as
simple as an invitation to go shopping at a new store, out to lunch or even
happy hour, she readily accepts. Her next-door neighbor includes her in her
children’s birthday parties and even brings her breakfast on the weekends. It’s not necessarily the destination but it’s
the socializing that’s of tremendous value.
Life is too short to stand on ceremony, maybe consider
reaching out to someone this holiday season
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.