We’ve been living a weirdly, isolated existence for the past almost 18 months, right?
Getting together with friends and family and having some fun seems like a distant dream until world events settle down.
I was recently reading about some important research that shows that social time can help you live longer. WHOA!! That’s a reason to try and get things back to “normal”.
Read on to find out why social connection is so important!
But first, you know stress isn’t good for you, right? That includes feeling lonely and disconnected. The past 18 months have shown us that we desperately NEED connection!
Well, research shows that chronic stress impacts you right down to the cellular level, making you more susceptible to dangerous chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
That’s because stress seems to contribute to shortening the “caps” on the ends of your DNA (called telomeres), which play a major role in the aging process.
Longer telomeres = longevity!
Yes, I’m getting all “science-like” on you, but I think it’s important to note how insidious stress can be – as I said before, it can affect you right down to the cellular level!
Scientists say you can start protecting your telomeres right now through healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a mainly plant-based diet and exercising regularly.
But here’s the cool part …
Your social connections also play a major role in stress management. Positive relationships help you feel supported and are also associated with longer telomeres!
You may be saying, Fran, we are still in lockdown in our area! How do I get together with my friends and family and connect with people?
So here is my take on this. Zoom calls are all the rage and seriously, you may be tired of zoom meetings and have zoom fatigue, but doing zoom calls or connecting with your friends and family using some other technology is a MUST until we get past all this stuff!
Once we are back to a semblance of normalcy (whatever that may look like in the hopefully not too distant future), here are some ideas to broaden your social connections (i.e. over and above your current friends and family list):
- Join a walking group or book club (can be online) in your community
- Find a fitness studio/group that caters to like-minded individuals (same age, interests, etc.), and build a new network based on shared goals
- Take a class (in person once we can do so) to learn a new hobby or skill that you’ve been wanting to try.
On top of being a great stress-busting outlet for you, social connections might also help improve your long-term health!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
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DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.