I’ve seen numerous comments like this from social scientists this year, and I have to say, there’s definitely something to it.
““I get tons of people asking me what we can do during the pandemic to try to stay connected and stave off loneliness,” said BYU psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who co-led the project. “Conducting this experiment during pandemic conditions—which we didn’t originally plan—we found that people can experience significant reductions in loneliness even in tough times just by doing things that are easy, free and require no training to help the people around them.””
This particular study focused in on doing things for neighbors. There’s definitely some benefit to the sort of face-to-face interaction you can get in that situation, but I’d be willing to bet there would be similar benefits for acts of kindness aimed at folks online and distanced too. It doesn’t have to be a major thing either, just connecting through even the smallest acts of kindness, makes a huge difference.
So, what can you do for them, and thus, for your own mental health?