Did you know that June 8th is Best Friends Day? It’s a time to celebrate the social connections we have made as well as recognize the benefits that building strong social connections has on our lives.
It’s no secret that friends do so much for us–spending time together, celebrating the good times, and comforting us in the hard times. But having a social connection is also beneficial for our well-being and mental health.
- Boost happiness and reduce your stress.
- Improve self-confidence and self-worth.
- Increase your purpose.
- Help you cope with challenges you may face.
On this day we can also remind ourselves of the power of social connection. Research indicates that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. The pandemic has decreased our in-person connection while also increasing our online interactions. While technology can help to connect us in new ways, excessive screen use also disconnects us from nature, from our own thoughts, and from others. We need face-to-face interaction in our lives and losing that piece of our society over the last two years has not been healthy.
If you are searching for ways to expand your social connections and make new friends, try some of these suggestions from the Canadian Mental health Association
- Join a new club, or try out a group activity
- Reach out to an old friend you’ve lost touch with
- Volunteer for a cause you care about
- Eat lunch in a communal space
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Ask someone for help when you need it
- Do a random act of kindness
Now is the time to check in with friends and acquaintances and let them know that they are important to you.
For more resources, check out the links below.