It seems we all know that isolation is not good for health and well-being. We need to be in each other’s physical presence.

This is almost impossible now, and it has been going on for months.

My current life journey since the beginning of the health crisis has had many bumps, twists and turns. I struggle with getting my human connection needs met, but I am finding ways to cope.

One thing that has helped is having occasional patio parties. One or two of my friends are willing to come over and sit in my yard or on my patio to visit.

While this is working, it is far too infrequent. There is no place to really go to be with people. The things I used to do are closed or not happening or I find it too sad and disturbing to go there with the current restrictions in place.

Self-connection is more important than ever. I learned about self-empathy in the compassionate communication class I took based on the teaching of Marshall Rosenberg. We learned how to safely express our many emotions, and it has enriched my life in so many ways.

We also learned the language of feelings and needs. This is not something I learned growing up. I assume most of us didn’t. It has been so freeing for me.

I have also been able to make requests of others that have a much better chance of being heard. My needs and wants get met more often, which results in more contentment and happiness. I know that I matter.

Right now, I feel lonely. I’m working on being creative with this.

Using technology to connect is not a satisfying connection for me. While it is better than nothing, 90% of communication is non-verbal. Body language is energetic. We sense what others are feeling when we are in each other’s physical presence.

I believe being in each other’s space helps us balance our energy and feeds us. We also get nourished by touch. Touch is like food. It is a basic need.

We were already living in a touch-deprived culture in my opinion. Thankfully, I have my self-massage practices that are based in Asian or Ayurvedic medicine. It’s not enough, but these practices help.

The five elements of Asian medicine are based on our feelings. They affect the energy in our bodies, called meridians.

All feelings are important and help us notice what is happening in our lives and our bodies. When we are stuck in any one of them, too long or in the extreme, they can cause imbalance on our bodies. I have been working with these systems for many years professionally.

At times, I feel like I am languishing in my home. While I always have ways to entertain myself or projects to do, I still find my heart still yearns for face-to-face connection. I have many friends, but most are on strong self-quarantine due to having chronic illness.

I realize I can’t control everything. I do what I can to learn as much about our situation as possible. It’s a difficult task.

I’ve done many hours of my own research. I am also taking action to make requests of my governmental representatives.

I hear that other countries have chosen different strategies and have fared very well. Is it possible we can learn from them? It’s all for learning in any case.

Sometimes the lessons are harsh. It seems to be the way humans learn.

Here is the fortune I got in my tea last week: “Be kind to others, but always be compassionate to yourself.” My prayer is that we are creating a healthy, loving and caring world for our children. We create a safe life based on trust. I place my highest trust in nature and all life forms.

I’m blessed in many ways. I choose to focus on the positives in my life. Positive thoughts will keep my immune system strong.

While I’m waiting for restrictions to be lifted so I can be with my family and friends again, I will also pray that this mess will get sorted out sooner rather than later.

Jo Ann Lindberg is a City of Verona resident.

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