Take a moment to reflect upon the amount of human touch you give and receive in any given week. Whether we are someone who loves and needs that gentle and affirming gesture or one who prefers to slyly step back so as not to get entangled, the NEED for human touch is real.
Unless we are surrounded by a large and multiplying family, most of us don’t have the opportunity to reap the benefits of consistent and unabashed human touch as a young child would generously give. As humans we need human, real-time interaction, both intellectually and physically, to thrive. The past two years living in semi to full isolation did us no favors in this regard. There are innumerable statistics supporting this fact. People are still aching for connection.
Many are starved for the magic and the power of human touch. Thankfully, furry friends do have significant powers in this realm, I am happy to share.
So how can you make a difference? Connect. Scroll your intellectual rolodex, whether it be people in your past or current life, or someone you see routinely along your path. Be mindful and take note of someone who seems un-notable. Make eye contact. Stop. Reach out. Smell the roses together; enjoy the sunshine, or the shade! Ask how they’re doing. Then, actually listen!
If the person we connect with is close and personal to us, consider a hello or goodbye hug. That gesture tells a story all on its own. It says, “you are worth it!” Holding hands, keeping eye contact while we talk, or rubbing a little lotion on the hands or shoulders of a parent, or someone who is ill, transportation compromised, or housebound, is the gift of a fairy godmother when we’re alone most of the time. Harness your power to bring light and joy and then release it to someone who needs it.
Hugs can be given with words and simple touch too. As Miss Maya Angelou shared, it’s not what we say or do, but how we make people feel, that they remember. Make someone feel loved and worthy and acknowledged today. I promise, it will absolutely make you feel better too.
Elaine Poker-Yount, CDP is Director of Care Management for Visiting Angels East Valley
Reach her at 480-833-8247 or firstname.lastname@example.org