It’s summer! School’s out. Families are on vacation. The snow and cold, gone. Summer is a great time to connect with others. Lots of research has found the same thing: People with no social connections end up with poor health. Here are a few things we’ve learned:
- A strong social network increases your chances of staying alive by 50 percent.
- Those with no social connections were 3 times more likely to die than those with strong social ties.
- Men who suffer a heart attack who have no social connections are 4 times more likely to die in the next 3 years.
- Being around people you care about releases good chemicals in your body and changes you mentally and physically.
Connect with people
About 25 percent of us don’t have a single person we can confide in. To be our healthiest we need at least 3 people we can count on. Here are ways you can connect with people this summer:
- Get involved—Help improve issues important to you and meet others who share your passion. Volunteer at a:
- Get outside—Improve your mental, physical and social health. Live like the mountain’s out!
- Take your dog to the park.
- Clean-up your neighborhood or greenspace.
- Farmer’s Market.
- Enjoy a fair or festival.
- Get active—Exercise is an important part of maintaining mental, physical and social health. Try joining:
- Get to know your neighbors—Sometimes you need help with that fallen tree after a storm. Or maybe you just need to borrow a cup of sugar. Your neighbor is only a few feet away, and they’re probably willing to be a friend. Here are some ideas for connecting with your neighbor:
- When you go out to get your mail, say hello.
- Exchange phone numbers to be prepared for an emergency.
- Go to a neighborhood picnic.
- Plan a community get-together.
Learn more about Social Connections at https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/social-connections.
We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.