Normally, December is a month of parties, celebrations, and quality time with family and friends. But as the pandemic continues to spread throughout Minnesota, it appears that this will be a holiday season like no other. Most – if not all – holiday gatherings will have to be downsized or cancelled, and the social contact we rely on to get us through the cold and dark days of winter will not be available.
Experts say that it’s more important than ever to maintain those vital social connections throughout the holiday season. Not only is it beneficial for mental well-being, but it could have a big impact on heart health as well.
How Social Connections Boost Health
According to the American Heart Association, there is proven evidence of the link between poor social relationships and negative health impacts. Following a 2010 analysis of nearly 150 studies involving more than 300,000 people, experts concluded that loneliness and smoking had similar mortality risk factors. Loneliness was even found to be more harmful than obesity.
How to Maintain Social Connections While Physically Distant
After 9+ months of isolation, all the things we did to stay connected in the early part of the pandemic – Zoom game nights and happy hours, sending letters, text chains – are no longer quite as fun. Yet any efforts to maintain relationships, even if it’s just a quick call or check-in, will have positive benefits.
In addition, take the time to focus inward. Focus on gratitude for the people and things in your life. Nurture your relationships with the people in your immediate family. Take action to minimize stress. And, when it’s safe to gather once again, show your friends and loved ones how grateful you are that they remain in your life.
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HeartCert CPR is your trusted training partner for CPR, ACLS, PALS, EMR and First Aid in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota.
HeartCert CPR courses include CPR/AED/First Aid and CPR/AED, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Certified Nursing Assistant training. Courses and certifications from both the American Heart Association and American Red Cross are available.