How to improve loneliness during Social Wellness Month

Posted at 7:04 AM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-12 07:04:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A report from the US Surgeon General revealed one in two Americans experience loneliness — and that was before the pandemic.

Loneliness and social disconnection are highlighted as an epidemic during July for Social Wellness Month.

Alexandra Cromer is a licensed professional counselor with Thriveworks located in Downtown Richmond.

She described social wellness as spending time with friends and family, engaging with the community, our neighbors, and hobbies. Cromer encourages her clients to look inwards and recognize what makes them happy.

“I always tell my clients when we're battling social anxiety, let's find a happy medium,” Cromer explained. “It's also okay to just say this might not go perfectly. That doesn't mean it goes bad. But maybe I will go and participate, and I don't walk away with three best friends. But I have people that are acquaintances now or people that I have this regular time where we meet up.”

Cromer saw an uptick in loneliness during the pandemic, but she’s noticed that loneliness is lingering longer than was expected.

Loneliness is far more than a bad feeling. The US Surgeon General reported that it is also associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death.

There’s another word for this — social disconnection. That means feelings of isolation, feeling invisible and insignificant.

Cromer answered the question, “Do I need friends?”

“Do I need people on my life? And the answer is yes,” she responded. “That at can be a little intimidating to people that have social anxiety or to people that maybe are more introverted. But everyone I see humans are like plants. Even a succulent needs an ice cube once a month.”

You can address social disconnection by answering the phone call from a friend or calling a friend. Perform an active of service, make time to share a meal, and listen without the distraction of your phone.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews


Giving You A Voice: Contact the CBS 6 Team

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.