Form & Maintain Healthy Relationships

Social connectedness is essential to our emotional resiliency and overall health. Studies show that isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality and morbidity, especially among individuals already diagnosed with lifestyle-related conditions.

Loneliness & Your Health

Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness occurs when people withdraw and become cut off from family, friends and community. Any number of changes can trigger this issue. Loneliness has been linked to higher blood pressure, earlier onset of dementia, and more colds than normal.

Signs that you might be lonely

  • Boredom
  • Losing interest in personal hygiene
  • Poor eating and nutrition
  • Clutter and hoarding in the home

Connection with others can help with:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Healthy weight
  • Living longer
  • Bring a water bottle wherever you go
  • Better health
  • Being happier

Connections happen when:

  • You can ask for help
  • You seek emotional support
  • You ask for advice
  • You find people with similar interest

Do you have enough support?

Ask yourself if you have at least a few friends or family members who:

  • Feel comfortable to be with
  • Give you a sense you could tell them anything
  • Can help you solve problems
  • Make you feel valued
  • Take your concerns serious

Helpful tips to feel more connected

Strengthen Your Relationships

  • Make a list of the people you want to contact regularly.
  • Commit to spend time with family and/or friends
  • Listen really well to others. Repeat what you heard to make sure you understood.
  • Ask for help. Even best friends can't read your mind.
  • Show how much you respect, support and appreciate your friends and family.
  • Move out of relationships that make you feel unsafe, lower your self-esteem or draw you into unhealthy habits, like abusing drugs.
  • Seek counseling services to help you improve your relationships.

Make Friends

  • Enroll in a class (painting, yoga)
  • Join a book group, hiking club, or other group
  • Volunteer

Lifestyle Medicine

An evidence-based approach to preventing, treating and even reversing diseases by replacing unhealthy behaviors with positive ones.