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A Brief But Spectacular take on why we’re never really alone

Author and former monk Jay Shetty has a message for those living alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently leading a 20-day, live meditation series on Instagram, he says we should strive to do one thing each day that brings us joy -- and that despite social distancing, we can still nurture essential human connection. Shetty offers his Brief But Spectacular take on why we’re never really alone.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In tonight's Brief But Spectacular, author and former Hindu monk Jay Shetty has a message for those living alone during the pandemic.

    He's currently leading a 20-day live meditation series on Instagram, and his first book, "Think Like a Monk," will be out this fall.

  • Jay Shetty:

    My first message to anyone living alone at the moment is, I want you to know that you're not alone.

    We often refer to loneliness as something negative. And we look at it as a weakness.

    But when I lived as a monk, solitude is often spoken of as a strength. And so the first thing I'd recommend is finding one thing that you can do every single day that brings you joy. It may be reading a book you love. It may be looking at a beautiful piece of art. Doing one thing by yourself, for yourself, that creates joy is such an important habit.

    Don't see social distancing as the end of your social life. It's so important that we use the incredible technology at our disposal to have more human connection.

    And ask for support when you need it. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. We are all in this together. We're all experiencing it, and we're all going to be there for each other.

    Some people are fearing the loss of work. Some people are dealing with the loss of work. People are dealing with the loss of family members or the rescheduling of procedures and surgeries that were already planned.

    So, give people the time around you to accept their loss.

    One of the best ways that we can experience gratitude right now is to look through our phones at the 72,928 pictures that you have taken. And take a moment to feel grateful for three things, the people in your life, the places that you have visited, and the projects that you have worked on.

    During this pandemic, I believe that we're going to get to see the best of humanity. Often, we think of change as being raising a million dollars or helping 100,000 people. But true change, real change could be just calling one person who you know is lonely every single day.

    It can be delivering some food to someone who can't go out themselves. So, don't measure your impact by how many people you can help. Measure it by how deeply you can help the people around you.

    My name's Jay Shetty, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on why we're never really alone.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Some very good advice.

    And you can find all our Brief But Spectacular segments at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.

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