Staying Connected- How Our Relationships Affect Our Wellbeing
‘There are few stronger predictions of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate, lifelong companionship with one’s best friend.’ David Myers, Psychologist.
You’re probably wondering how relationships have such an impact on our happiness?
It may be surprising, but research suggests that our relationships are one of the most significant predictors of physical and psychological wellbeing across all ages. There are so many predicted health benefits as a result of the presence of positive relationships, such as;
- Improved recovery from surgery
- Better immunity to cold and flu viruses
- Lower incidence of heart attacks
- Greater ability to cope with stress (oxytocin)
- Higher worker satisfaction and productivity
- Increased life expectancy (due to hormonal, cardiovascular, and immune responses in the body)
- Higher academic achievement
- Greater career mobility
- Greater life satisfaction
During times of challenge, our team can be significant source of support. Your team are the people in your life that you would normally spend regular time with, such as your work colleagues, friends, family, etc.
Take a minute to think about who’s on your team? Who supports you emotionally?
For many, the lack of social connection during these unprecedent times has been a significant source of stress. Research shows that one risk of remote working is social isolation and loneliness, but the current COVID restrictions complicate this further. Evidence shows that relationships and connection are critical for high levels of psychological wellbeing. So, without a plan in place, individuals are at risk of developing mental health problems, so we must find ways to try to stay connected as much as possible during this current pandemic.
A few new ways we’re able to stay connected include:
- Catching up for coffee or dinner with a friend whilst abiding by the current social distancing rules.
- Reconnecting with old friends on social media. It is never too late to rekindle old friendships.
- Organise a virtual game night.
- Joining positive social media groups to discuss hobbies and shared interests.
- Sending a card, letter or gift to those that you can’t travel to see right now.
- Spending quality time with those in your household, playing games, dancing or cooking together.
- Asking your colleagues to share something funny or a story about their weekend during conference calls.
- Starting a hashtag and encourage your workplace or community to post around a positive topic.
- Joining a virtual trivia games or participating in virtual cooking classes.
APPLI have put together a ‘Staying Connected’ toolkit which will provide you with additional strategies and practical tools that you can use to manage your relationships and wellbeing during the COVID pandemic and throughout life.
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