18

March

Are you missing human contact?

Thursday March 18, 2021


I was recommended a great song a couple of days ago - “Diggin in the Dirt” by a German/English band - Mad Hatter’s Daughter. Listening to it and reading the lyrics made me think about what impact the lack of human contact is having on us all.

It is no stretch of the imagination to suggest that our collective experience has felt somewhat limited since the lockdowns started. While the imposed lockdowns and restrictions have undoubtedly helped to slow the spread of the pandemic, what effect have they had on the population’s mental health and well-being?

The problems faced by society today are all complex in nature and there are very few “one size fits all” blanket solutions available. Unfortunately, it is more often the case that the solutions we implement for singular problems end up creating a wider array of new ones to contend with. When looking for the right solutions we must always work to ensure that the subsequent problems that arise are of a lesser severity than the initial problem we were trying to solve. No doubt the UK government has gone beyond the pale to provide financial relief and support to its citizens, but has the importance of human contact been overlooked?

“Are we gunna make it work?
Think we have to.
But it won’t do, if I can’t touch you.”

Just like animals, human beings need physical contact and not just during the early stages of life. Many nursing homes observe that physical affection such as hugging the elderly not only improves their communication, mood and energy levels but can also reduce joint pain. While we can all intuitively understand the importance of touch, have we underestimated its importance?

“I wanna take you with me.
I wanna hold your hand.
I’m tryna keep my distance.
But I could use a friend.”

As humans we have acquired the ability to read the emotional states of others via our sense of touch. It appears to be the mechanism we use to understand each other when words are simply not enough. This is why we are able to convey a sense of relief to the distressed through a hug, a kiss or a simple pat on the back. Touch is much more than a biological need - it is a social foundation upon which human beings can build emotionally healthy lives.

Let us remember that authentically expressing how we feel will always be the first step to overcoming emotional difficulty.

Here’s a link if you want to have a listen to the song: https://madhattersdaughter.com/newmusic/

How has the lack of human connection has affected you through lockdown?

Ellie
A Moodscope member.

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