Loneliness kills. This is what new evidence suggests from a range of reputable institutions and studies, to bolster that likely feeling in your gut about this.
To clarify, loneliness is not just being isolated. Isolation is a public health epidemic. You may spend professional and personal time around other people, but just how connected to them are you really? How well do people really know you — enough to know how well you are truly doing, what your hopes and fears are, and how they can support you on your journey or brighten up your day?
Grace Kim explains how Cohousing, which originated in Denmark decades ago, has helped to close the gap between people where they live, encouraging more interaction, friendships, support, and, well, happiness!
It all revolves around a central courtyard, where people’s kitchen windows are faced, and members of the communities and their children are regularly gathering, playing, and celebrating. There are also double doors in the courtyard leading into the “secret sauce of cohousing” — the Common House.
The Common House is a shared space with a large dining room and kitchen that can accommodate all 28 people living in 9 apartments, plus their guests, on regular meals they share 3 times a week. Meal preparation rotates so the average adult prepares a meal only once every other month. It is an intentional way for neighbors to gather, to become closer, to laugh, and to stave off that pesky loneliness.
Of course everything is not “rainbows and unicorns” in cohousing, but it is a model that brings people closer together, gets them to relate more regularly, and incentivizes them to solve problems together.
The cohousing community featured in this video is Capital Hill Cohousing, located in Seattle, Washington.
You can read more about it from Grace Kim in Communities Magazine issue #177: Urban Communities.
For more education and stories on this topic, check out Cohousing in the Communities Bookstore.
To find places like this around the world, see the Cohousing Communities in the Communities Directory.