Connecting with others can help everyone’s mental and physical health.

This holiday season many are choosing to postpone get-togethers and travel and are choosing to stay home. Though the annual family family gatherings, Friendsgivings, or festive shindig may not be happening as we choose to keep others safe,  it does not mean we have to feel isolated.

Being social creatures, we need connection with others. Studies have shown having social connections can have as much of a positive impact on health and longevity as exercise, healthy eating, and  stress reduction. By reaching out and staying connected to others we create a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being. As positive connections are made your capacity for empathy increases, stress and anxiety are reduced, and the world seems just a little better.

Six ways you connect with others when you can’t be together.

Women looking at her cell phone and smiling

  1. Message them- whether it is a text, snap-chat, what’s app, or Facebook message- sending a digital message
  2. Pick up the phone and CALL.  Though texting is great reaching out in person there is something about hearing another’s voice that feels much more personal. A piece of paper with Dear written in cursive with a hand holding pen.
  3. Send a letter.  It may seem old-fashioned but a handwritten letter makes people feel extra special especially since you made the time and effort. Have horrible handwriting?- try typing it out and mailing it or picking out a card to send. Whatever type of snail mail you send it will be appreciated.
  4. Be more active online. Though excessive time on social media can be detrimental, interacting with others (like on the Body First Fit group) can help maintain or even create friendships.  Adult daughter viewing an tablet device with her mother.
  5. Take time to talk “face to face” With all the various ways to video chat (Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc) it has been easier and easier to see loved ones even if they are far-away.
  6. Send them a gift.  There is something about receiving that unexpected gift that shows thoughtfulness. Perhaps it is a box of cookies from their favorite coffee shop, or the stocking cap you knitted for them, or maybe even a massage gift certificate (available online) to use in the future.

However you decide to stay connected with others keep it positive and remember it is good for both of you.