Already in spring and even more during fall the term „mental health“ has been around as a public health concern. There are probably differences from country to country but here in Scotland there is an awareness of it to be an issue and it’s ok to talk about. However, there is generally talk about anxiety and worries about finances and health. Yet there are more causes for deteriorating mental health.
This year has been though for all of us who are single. Let me make something clear first: I’m fine with being single. I have a fulfilled life and do not need or want any pity for it. That’s not the point. Though, what happened when the pandemic hit? Social distancing rules were put in place which basically meant: If you are single and live on your own, please keep about 2 meters distance from everyone else. Wouldn’t that leave us as the group who is the least likely to put anyone else at risk because we’re not close to anyone? Yet again, not the point.
During lockdown in spring I had at least two friends with whom I broke the rules. We would not only meet for a walk in the park or a chat but also hug each other. Sure moving country in September didn’t help my situation. Here I don’t have anyone with whom I can break the rules. I’m sure though that there are many out there who can relate and know what I’m talking about. Let me put it like this: The last time someone touched me was on 23rd September on the morning I left Berlin and a friend hugged my goodbye. That’s almost three months with no physical contact. If you do that to a baby it dies. But apparently we can do that to grown-ups without concern!
The lack of social interaction and the absence of any physical touch leads to a deteriorating mental health. The effects of it are more like a lack of vitamins or vitally important minerals for your body. It’s only after a while that you start to realize that something is wrong and you’re not functioning as you’re supposed to. Your resilience is weakening. You find yourself crying with no apparent reason. Sure, other people in the world suffer worse through this crisis. Trust me, I see that and I dread the long term effects this pandemic has on countries with less resilient economies. This helps to keep perspective and be grateful for the things I can be grateful for. Yet it doesn’t make things easier though.
There would be an easy solution to my mental health struggles: give me a hug a day, or better three. No, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. The only thing that is left for me to do is writing this blog post. Experience has taught me that you’re never alone struggling with such issues and it makes a difference to know that.
Here’s to everyone who feels the same: You’re not alone! Don’t beat yourself up but allow your tears. (I’m preaching this to myself.) Do yourself some good, talk about it and never allow anyone to look down on you for it. Our soul has a deficiency and that is weakening us. This may sound cheasy: As winter will eventually turn into spring, this season will pass and that is our hope.