It’s good to be alone sometimes–we all need our space–but “lonely” is something else; something far more difficult to find our way out of.

In 2000, Robert Putnam’s famous book Bowling Alone detailed the breakdown of community and civic society. Today studies show that “zero” is the most common number of confidants, reported by almost a quarter of us and in fact, the average number of people we feel we can talk to about ‘important matters’ has fallen to just two.

Linked to depression, anxiety, interpersonal hostility, and increased vulnerability to health issues, loneliness is a real problem. And yet ironically it’s one that only an active engagement with vulnerability can begin to mend.

We want to start this year by talking about what it means to be lonely, what it means to work towards health in our relationships, and how to push ourselves to appropriately begin the movement towards a more open existence in community. 

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