A friend of mine reached out not to long ago and asked if we could meet for coffee. She had something she wanted to talk to me about and I was intrigued.
It had been some time since we had seen each other so we spent a bit of time catching up on friends and family. Of course most of that time was focused on our kids–how proud we are of them, how fortunate we are to have great relationships with them, and how quiet it is at home now that they are out of the house.
As we made our way from coffee to food (hers was the healthy meal choice, mine, not so much) she shared that she had been thinking about, and doing some research on, loneliness–and it’s affect on health. Especially for women.
We discussed the many dimensions of loneliness–living in isolation (geographically speaking and feeling isolated in a crowded urban environment); empty-nest syndrome; aging and the loss of friends; relationships gone bad.
All of this at a time when, ironically, more and more of us are more and more connected through technology. Or are we?
We started to talk about how prevalent loneliness is, especially for women–and the remarkable impact it has on health–emotional and physical health.
Ever the analyst, my friend came bearing statistics and articles with headlines that screamed: Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness, How Loneliness Wears on the Body, The Dangers of Loneliness, and Loneliness Has the Same Risk as Smoking for Heart Disease.
She wondered if there was something Disruptive Women could do.
We will be exploring this issue in greater depth over the next few months. In the meantime, if you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments section. If you have data, research, personal stories (please be sure all permissions to share are in accordance with any and all legal and regulatory requirements), we would love to hear from you.