Us humans were not made for this. What is this you ask? Social isolation, segregation, separation – all of these most often invoke negative impressions in our mind. And why not, historically speaking, social isolation has never had a positive impact on humanity and mankind until recently.
In this blog & Video, I try to explain what is happening within our bodies when we are isolated.
Impact of Isolation on our Body – Role of Oxytocin
Oxytocin – also called the love hormone, is produced during pleasant interactions with someone we love or care for. Oxytocin plays a vital role in social bonding, sexual reproduction and several other functions with very pleasant outcomes 🙂
The issue with isolation therefore is that this very much-needed hormone – Oxytocin is not produced without the stimulation of a pleasant conversation, interaction or social bonding activities.
Symptoms associated with low levels of Oxytocin
Loneliness, varied degrees of aggression, depression, anxiety and being upset are all several symptoms of low levels of Oxytocin.
Without going too deep into the various vagaries of Oxytocin in this blog, it suffices to say that during isolation there is that a much more conscious effort ought to be made to build this much-needed hormone.
Oxytocin – Connection between Mental and Physical Health.
It is important to note that Oxytocin and Cortisol go hand in hand. Decrease in Oxytocin automatically raises the ratios of Cortisol – the stress hormone. In other words, your body is trying that much hard to respond to the stress factors that would otherwise have been handled by the sufficient production of Oxytocin.
The connection between Oxytocin and Cortisol just doesn’t stop there. An increase in Cortisol levels adversely affects your immune system. And the whole point of this exercise is to stay healthy, protect ourselves.
Thus besides consuming antiviral and immune boosting foods and thus nutritionally addressing the needs of the body to boost your immune system. The following activities ought to help boost Oxytocin levels;
Activities that can boost Oxytocin Naturally
We have compiled here a list of a few activities that one can indulge regularly if not daily, to boost one’s Oxytocin levels – while maintaining self-isolation and physical distance from others;
Engage in Video and Audio chats
In the age of FaceTime, Video chat, phone calls, google meet, we are surrounded by technology that can come to our rescue. Use technology to connect with friends, family, colleagues and who ever else you feel would generate pleasant interactions. Have meaningful, warm and positive conversations. Refrain, avoid and stay away from any conversations that invoke negativity. Stay away from rumour mills that tend to spin up and insight all sorts of negativity during situations like these.
Pro-tip: When someone forwards you a post or any content on the internet, ask yourself – are you smiling or are you upset?
Lunch with Friends, Family & Colleagues
Social isolation does not prevent you from having the same interactions as you used to have when you went out for lunches. Call a friend or family with your lunch in front of you.
Read together – Start a Book Club at Home.
As a family, pick up a book, read, discuss – start a book club at home.
Play with your pets
It has traditionally known to reduce stress. Now you know why 🙂
Go out for a Walk – Soak up the Sun
Enjoy the sun, soak up the sun and increase the levels of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is an antidepressant that also boosts your immunity.