400 Friends and No One to Call: Breaking through Isolation and Building Community

Feeling alone and isolated during the coronavirus pandemic and stay at home orders? While social media enables us to make connections with more people than ever before, social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States. During the pandemic, these feelings of isolation can be exasperated, with feelings of fear and overwhelm taking over. As it turns out, we can have hundreds of “friends” on social media without having any meaningful connections whatsoever.

In episode 84 of Fresh Tracks, author Val Walker shares a two-step process to breaking through isolation, even in this time of self-isolation and the covid-19 pandemic. In environments where we find ourselves struggling to fit-in and hoping to find “our people”, Val provides tips for creating community and lasting connections that add depth, purpose and caring to your life, even while staying safe at home.

Show Notes:
3:45 – Val’s painful discovery of isolation and the shame behind it
8:50 – The difference between isolation and loneliness
11:30 – The one thing we all have in common right now
15:25 – Recognizing it’s time to create Fresh Tracks in your relationships
21:15 – Suggestions on how to begin reaching out
27:05 – The value in creating your tribe rather than finding it
30:50 – Using your five callings to create community

Val Walker is the author of 400 Friends and No One to Call: Breaking through Isolation and Building Community, which is a book about breaking out of isolation and building friendships, community, and a sense of belonging. Reaching isolated and disadvantaged communities for twenty-four years, she has organized and led support groups, outreach initiatives, and training programs for people living with serious illness, disability, grief, and trauma.

Val’s is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today and her articles and interviews have appeared in publications such as TIME, AARP, Whole Living, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Coping with Cancer, Boston Globe Magazine, Chicago Tribune, McClean’s (Canada).
Learn more at www.ValWalkerAuthor.com

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