“Being touch starved — also known as skin hunger or touch deprivation — occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things.”
Living alone has been wonderful; I have my own kitchen, I don’t have to share my space and I can walk around the house naked (if I so desire), but living alone during a pandemic? That’s a little bit more tricky.
A snapshot into my current life is: work, home, shopping, walks, yoga, baking, sleep. Not being able to go to restaurants or people’s houses has forced me to spend more time on my hobbies (which has been lovely), but consequently I’ve had very limited contact with other human beings. I’m fortunate enough to not have to work from home, so I get to see my colleagues (with a mask on and from 2 metres away). I also have many socially distanced walks with my friends, when the weather’s nice, but when was the last time I hugged someone? Nearly four months ago, when I was in England for Christmas.
I never realised how important physical contact is (and I’m not just talking about sex), but a simple handshake, a hug, a kiss on the cheek… all of these things are completely missing from my life right now and if I’m honest, it’s starting to get to me. I’ve been craving human touch and I’ve been missing it so much that when a stranger tapped me on the shoulder to ask for directions I nearly cried. It was such a strange feeling, having someone else’s hand on my shoulder, I wanted to grab it and hold onto it for a little longer. It was in this moment that I realised I needed to do something to make myself feel better, something that could simulate the feeling of physical touch… So I made soup. It was a simple recipe; vegetables thrown together into a pan, a stock cube, some spices et voila; homemade soup. If you’re a little lost with what I’m talking about, then think back to the last time you had soup on a cold Winter’s day; the way it warms you up from the inside out and makes your cheeks rosy… Well, I think that’s a little like getting a hug from someone you love.
Although it’s not exactly the same as human touch, it definitely made me feel better and I won’t lie and say that I haven’t made soup every day for the past week.
I’m sure there are thousands of people in the world that feel the same as I do right now, given the peculiar circumstance most of us are living in. My heart goes out to you all and I wish I could give you all a hug, but for now…
Make some soup.