Sharing – COVID-19 and Touch Deprivation
There are really two things that I’ve been thinking about with this distancing that we’ve been doing, this article addresses one of them. Touch is an important part of not only our mental health, but also our immune system. As we live in a world that is now causing us to touch each other much less, we can make sure that we are still doing what we can to get some of those benefits.
“Firstly, given that most of us are lucky enough to live with our loved ones and families, be sure to regularly touch and hug those you are confined with (unless of course, they have symptoms in which case they should self-isolate in a separate room) otherwise, make the most of these circumstances to build emotional and physical intimacy with those you live with. Secondly, if you have animals, be sure to pet them as often as possible. Above all (especially if you do not have family or animals around), at least keep your sensory and kinesthetic “muscles” alive. Do this daily, by touching (and feeling) things with texture! Polished stones or crystals, smooth wooden surfaces, soft toys, silk, fur, etc. Pay more attention to how the shower feels on your body and to the sensation of your clothes on your skin. Doing these simple things will bring you back into your body and keep your sensory acuity active.
To counter the effects of isolation (for yourself and others) be sure to stay in regular touch with people you know, especially those you may not have spoken with for a while. Check-in with them by webcam, telephone or even a good old fashioned letter in the mail. It is more important than ever to stay in touch and keep contact with the people you know during this period of physical distancing, doing so will hopefully prevent isolation and touch deprivation becoming a “norm” for future generations.”
That second paragraph actually mentions the other thing I’ve been thinking about that affects our physical and mental health is a huge way, connection.
Both are important, and both have suddenly become much more difficult. There are things we can do to mitigate the lack of these things, for now. The question is, will we take the time to do them? I hope you will.