Are you feeling touch deprivation because of the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the isolation? Whether you’re a person who enjoys hugs and physical touch or not, we are living in a world where physical distancing is important. This means less physical encounters in your personal and professional life.
Think about it: when was the last time you shook someone’s hand at work? When was the last time you were able to hug a friend or family member due to the pandemic guidelines?
There was a recent study done on touch deprivation. Of all the people studied, 60 percent said they felt touch deprived during the pandemic due to isolation. Has the pandemic affected your physical gestures and reactions with those you live with or work with?
As human beings we were made for connection. The lack of even little gestures such as a touch on the shoulder or pat on the back can cause more damage than we might think. Touch deprivation can also contribute to anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress. Engaging in mindful, self-nourishing activities like massaging or rubbing your hands can help decrease these things. You can even make this sort of activity more pleasing by choosing a lotion or oil to rub on your hands. Choose scents that you enjoy. Try scents like peppermint, lavender, citrus or tea tree.
Grab some hand lotion, take a break, and mindfully nourish yourself with Candis Boily from Show Me Hope and Tri-County Mental Health in this Hand Massage and Gentle Touch video.
Remember that our interactions will not be like this permanently, and this pandemic will not last forever.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stress due to the pandemic, call or text Show Me Hope for 24/7 anonymous crisis counseling. We’re here to listen.
Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
Tri-County Mental Health: 816-468-0400