The Importance of Social Connectedness
As we celebrate the end of another year, it’s important to reflect on the power of social connection and community. The nearly two years since the pandemic have no doubt affected our social circles and well-being. Many of us have lost loved ones to COVID-19, while others have been deeply affected in other ways.
Whatever you are currently going through, please know that you are not alone. There are many ways to reach out to neighbors or volunteer organizations to stay connected through hobbies or shared interests. With places reopening and workplaces having a hybrid setup, it’s time to revisit social connection and the people who inspire you.
Stats on Social Isolation
According to the CDC, social isolation and loneliness can put many adults at risk for a variety of health issues. Additionally, the CDC cites studies that show that poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and 32% increased risk of experiencing a stroke. Older adults who are isolated from friends and family were also more likely to experience negative health impacts.
Despite an ongoing pandemic, it is still important to maintain friendships and relationships. Whether you feel more comfortable interacting over Zoom, or in-person—it is pertinent that humans get some social interaction time. It’s understandable that many of us have isolated ourselves or given up social circles due to the pandemic.
Significance of Social Connectedness
Social isolation can increase thoughts of anxiety, depression, and affect general mental health. It’s important to seek activities such as biking with friends or catching up for a cup of coffee with a friend.
Now that things are opening up, it may be time to revisit old friendships or nurture existing relationships and friendships. You can still find ways to be social and create an intimate tribe of supportive friends to meet your goals. I’ll discuss ways to ease back into socializing.
Tips on How to Be More Socially Connected
Volunteer: There are many great volunteer organizations and nonprofits that you can donate your time to. Whether it’s a mentorship program for at-risk youth or supporting the local soup kitchen, there are many volunteer opportunities to consider. I’d recommend first checking your local city’s recreation or monthly resident newsletter. You can also visit volunteermatch.org and enter your zip code to find nearby volunteer organizations.
Social media: While some say that social media might be isolating at times, it can also be beneficial. For instance, Facebook support groups have become a great resource for individuals with similar interests or those who have experienced grief and loss. You can search for topics and connect remotely with other individuals in the social network group. This may help reduce feelings of social anxiety and isolation.
More Tips on Socializing
Exercise and go outdoors: Going outdoors or stepping out of your comfort zone can be exhilarating. Make it a weekly or daily point to go for a jog, or get a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. This can be a great way to meet new friends and find similar interests. If you enjoy exercising, you can ask a friend to join you at the park, or alternatively, you can exercise alone and stay connected by nature.
Reconnect with family: Whether you’ve been estranged from certain family members or haven’t had the time to catch up, the holidays are always a great chance to start new and reconnect with others. It also helps to pay it forward and give a stranger a Starbucks gift card or check in on a friend you haven’t talked to in a while to make sure their mental health is good.
This holiday season, reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s a time of renewal, of new beginnings, and a chance to socialize and enjoy being supported by a great community or tribe of friends. From all of us at Flintridge Family Chiropractic, we wish you a very joyous, healthy, and happy holiday season! Stay safe, and we will see you in 2022!
Contact us today at 818-952-0172 for more information on chiropractic sessions and consultations. Happy Holidays.