Posts tagged with "Loneliness"

Business is booming for psychics during the pandemic

September 3, 2020

With a high-stakes presidential election; a life-threatening viral outbreak; a nationwide social uprising, widespread unemployment; and wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods to worry about, Americans are looking for answers. And if they cannot get any reassurance from the usual sources, a psychic or astrologer simply will have to do.

Since the quarantine began shutting down large swaths of the economy, astrologers, spiritual guides, tarot card readers and psychics have seen an uptick in business, Salon reports.

According to Google search trends, entries for “psychic” jumped to a one-year high during the week of March 8—just when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began issuing some guidance on COVID-19.

Likewise, business review and aggregator site Yelp published an Economic Impact Report that noted that its “Supernatural Readings” business category was up 140%.

Leslie Hale has been offering astrology readings since the late 1990s. She joined Keen.com, an online “spiritual advisor network” in 2001, and told Salon that currently her business is up about 30%. (Likewise, Keen.com told Salon they are experiencing a vast increase in traffic as of late.) Hale said usually she had 10 to 15 calls a day, but during the pandemic it’s been anywhere between 20 and 30.

“There has never been a time like this,” Hale told Salon of her 21-year astrologer career. “I think everybody wants to know if their life is going to go on, and if there’s anything in the future they have to look forward to.”

It makes sense that average people are seeking clarity in uncertain times. New Age spiritual practices have become increasingly popular over the last several years, in part due to its endorsement from the wellness industry and decline in religious affiliation among younger Americans. According to Pew Research data from 2018, an estimated 6 out of 10 American adults accept at least one “New Age belief,”

While in the past, spiritualism meant looking for connection with the dead, today it is more about seeking assurance. Alicia Butler, a 38-year-old freelance writer, usually turns to tarot card readings for comfort. She told Salon during the pandemic they’ve been especially helpful.

“It’s definitely a source of comfort right now,” Butler, who is quarantining with her parents, told Salon. “If things don’t reopen and we don’t have a vaccine or something, am I going to just be 13 again and living with my parents, and not growing emotionally or professionally ever again?”

“I mean, it’s basically somebody telling you that everything’s gonna be okay,” Butler added.

Nathalie Theodore, JD, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Chicago, told Salon it makes sense that some would turn to psychics or tarot card readers during this time.

“Uncertainty is something that many of us struggle with and, for some, it can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety,” Theodore said. “Fear of the unknown can send us into a downward spiral of negative thinking and imagining worst case scenarios.”

Theodore added that one of the hardest parts of this pandemic is not knowing how long it will last or what our lives will look like once it ends.

Hale, the psychic, said the number one question she gets from clients is when they will find a romantic partner.

“The biggest concern of most of the people who call me is still their relationship,” Hale said. “People want to know, ‘when I am going to be able to go out and meet someone special again?'”

She believes that inquiry is tied to loneliness.

“During this time of social isolation, I think people are lonely . . . . of course we have technology but that’s not the same thing as sitting across the table from someone,” Hale said.

Research contact: @Salon

The spirits are willing: Business is up 140% for psychics during the pandemic

June 1, 2020

With a pandemic, a lockdown, painful personal losses, a spiraling economy, fewer jobs, stress on relationships, and literally nowhere to go, who can blame Americans for wanting to know what will happen in the “foreseeable future”?

Since the beginning of March, astrologers, spiritual guides, tarot card readers, and psychics have seen an uptick in business, Salon reports.

. According to Google search trends, Google searches for “psychic” jumped to a one-year high during the week of March 8—when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began issuing some guidance on COVID-19.

Business review and aggregator site Yelp posted an Economic Impact Report that noted that its “Supernatural Readings” business category was up 140%, as more Americans turned to tarot card readers, mediums and psychics.

Leslie Hale has been offering astrology readings since the late 1990s. She joined Keen.com, an online “spiritual advisor network” in 2001, and told Salon that currently her business is up about 30%. (Likewise, Keen.com told Salon they are experiencing a vast increase in traffic as of late.) Hale said usually she had from ten to 15 calls a day, but during the pandemic it’s been anywhere between 20 and 30. She charges $3.53 a minute.

“There has never been a time like this,” Hale told Salon of her 21-year astrologer career. “I think everybody wants to know if their life is going to go on, and if there’s anything in the future they have to look forward to.”

It makes sense that average people are seeking clarity in uncertain times.. According to Pew Research data from 2018, an estimated 60% of  American adults accept at least one “New Age belief,” a list that includes psychics.

While in the past, spiritualism meant looking for connection with the dead, today it is more about seeking assurance. Alicia Butler, a 38-year-old freelance writer, usually turns to tarot card readings for comfort. She told Salon during the pandemic they’ve been especially helpful.

“It’s definitely a source of comfort right now,” Butler, who is quarantining with her parents, told Salon. “If things don’t reopen and we don’t have a vaccine or something, am I going to just be 13 again and living with my parents, and not growing emotionally or professionally ever again?”

“I mean, it’s basically somebody telling you that everything’s gonna be okay,” Butler added.

Nathalie Theodore, JD, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Chicago, told Salon it makes sense that some would turn to psychics or tarot card readers during this time.

“Uncertainty is something that many of us struggle with and, for some, it can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety,” Theodore said. “Fear of the unknown can send us into a downward spiral of negative thinking and imagining worst case scenarios.”

Theodore added that one of the hardest parts of this pandemic is not knowing how long it will last or what our lives will look like once it ends.

Hale, the psychic, said the number one question she gets from clients is when they will find a romantic partner.

“The biggest concern of most of the people who call me is still their relationship,” Hale said. “People want to know, ‘when I am going to be able to go out and meet someone special again?'”

She believes that inquiry is tied to loneliness.

“During this time of social isolation, I think people are lonely . . . . of course we have technology but that’s not the same thing as sitting across the table from someone,” Hale said.

Sara Kohl, who does “remote viewing” for Keen.com, said many people are wondering about their job security, too. “I’ve had a lot of my clients get furloughed,” Kohl said. “And so they’re calling… wondering if they’re going to be going back to work, and when.”

Fortuitously, Kohl is one of those rare people who is unconcerned about job security right now.  “It’s been the busiest I’ve ever seen,” she said. “People are calling in droves.”

Research contact: @Salon

Loneliness is reaching ‘epidemic’ levels in America

May 2, 2018

Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%), based on findings of a national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults sponsored by Cigna and conducted by Ipsos.

The new report, released on May 1, evaluated the subjective feelings of loneliness experienced by respondents using the UCLA Loneliness Scale—a 20-point questionnaire.

Indeed, UCLA researchers estimate that some 60 million Americans suffer from loneliness. And with millions of Baby Boomers now facing a radically shrinking social world as they retire from the workplace, see their children disperse, lose friends and family members to illness and death, the rising tide of loneliness has all the hallmarks of a widespread and costly epidemic.

Among the more alarming features of this epidemic, as identified by the Cigna/Ipsos survey are the following:

  • One in four Americans (27%) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them;
  • Two in five respondents sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43%) and that they are isolated from others (43%);
    One in fiveS. adults rarely or never feel close to people (20%) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18%);
  • Only slightly more than one-half of Americans (53%) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis;
  • Generation Z (age 18-22) is the loneliest   claims to be in worse health than older generations; and
    Very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).

Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2). Although they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.

“We view a person’s physical, mental and social health as being entirely connected,” said Cigna CEO David Cordani adding, “In analyzing this closely, we’re seeing a lack of human connection, which ultimately leads to a lack of vitality—or a disconnect between mind and body. We must change this trend by re-framing the conversation to be about ‘mental wellness’ and ‘vitality’ to speak to our mental-physical connection. When the mind and body are treated as one, we see powerful results.”

The survey also revealed several important bright spots. The findings reinforce the social nature of humans and the importance of having communities. People who are less lonely are more likely to have regular, meaningful, in-person interactions; are likely to exercise regularly; have achieved balance in daily activities; and are employed and have good relationships with their coworkers.

Research contact: elinor.polack@cigna.com

Personal connection is preferred to candy on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2018

A survey released on February 12 by AARP Foundation has found that only one gift really matters this year for Valentine’s Day: making time for others. A large majority (63%) of respondents said that spending time with a romantic partner or with friends or family is the most meaningful way to celebrate the holiday. Just 13% of those surveyed preferred receiving flowers, candy or other gifts.

Eighty-two percent of survey respondents said they would rather spend Valentine’s Day with someone than spend it alone. Non-married adults who are not in a romantic relationship were more likely to feel lonely when thinking about Valentine’s Day. Adults 50 and over were nearly twice as likely to report this status.

According to the survey, feelings about Valentine’s Day are mixed, with 33% saying that they felt “neutral” about the holiday; while 63% expressed positive feelings and 23% expressed negative feelings. Indeed, 27% plan to ignore the holiday and 10% will spend it alone.

The survey found that many respondents are concerned about a loved one feeling alone, with 48 percent noting they have worried about a friend or family member feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day

The survey was released by AARP Foundation in support of Connect2Affect, AARP Foundation’s ongoing effort to build awareness about the impact of loneliness and social isolation, which also includes resources to help people stay connected.

Research contact: @AARPCares