When people think of health and wellness it’s often associated with physical weight loss or cutting out carbs but not our mental health. The recent passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain gives us the opportunity to open up the conversation about the loneliness epidemic in the US. Here at GCUC, we’re break down the stigma that there is something wrong with having a mental illness and start talking about how we can help.
As a society, we tend to think that because someone has money, power, and fame, they live care-free, happy lives. We also tend to think that anxiety and depression are only in someone who “looks” depressed. This could mean dark clothes, an antisocial personality, or a number of other “tell-tale” signs. The truth is that depression is a mental illness- which means you can’t always see it. Someone may be the most bubbly, outgoing, colorful person but could have their own personal battle going on that no one would know about. In order to move forward and grow, we must work together and dismantle these stereotypes and realize that even the strongest of people have their own mountains to climb.
In his Ted Talk, Robert Waldinger, discussed the findings on the longest study on human happiness. This study conducted by Harvard researchers, they followed 764 men from the time to them were roughly 19 to present day. The men, who were still alive, are well into their nineties. They recently looked back these men to see what they were like in the fifties to try and determine if they could have predicted their age expectancy. The study found that the people who had less health problems, less physical pain, and lived the longest had one thing in common. They all had meaningful relationship not just with their partners but with friends. It concluded that relationships are not only good for our mental health but our physical health.
Humans are constantly evolving and learning. We are moving to working from home more and living alone and because of recent technological advancement, we are more connected than ever. We now have cars that allow us to move further away from our friends and families and cell phones to stay in touch with them through facebook and facetimes. Even with living in the most connected time in history more and more people are reporting feeling lonely. Isolation has become a growing trend in today’s society. Electronic communications can only substitute human interaction so much. Human beings are social animals and crave social interaction no matter how small it is. Even the most introverted of humans can benefit from coworking. Just someone smiling at you while your getting coffee or when you glance up from your computer can brighten your day. You can be as social as you want. You feel apart of community that wants you to succeed.
Now to say coworking is the cure for loneliness would be incorrect. But it’s a small step in the right direction. 2018 is the year of health and wellness. At GCUC will be focusing how we spot the signals, combat, and build a healthy and thriving environment for us all. we are focusing on health and wellness. GCUC is working to dismantled the loneliness epidemic and stigmatizing mental illness one community (and coworking space) at a time.