Raven: Why Social Connection is Important

Close friends and colleagues enrich our lives in many ways both big and small. Ever wonder why you feel crappy after being inside all day without seeing anyone? Or why you’re energized after saying a quick “hello” to a coworker in the hallway? Well, there’s a science behind the way our social connections impact our feelings and wellbeing, and it’s simpler than you think.⠀

While socializing comes easy to some people, it may be more difficult for others. We may be busy with our kids or jobs and end up neglecting our friendships. Here are some small things you can do to stay connected with friends and loved ones:⠀

Let your friends in on your schedule

Instead of just saying “I’m too busy,” let your friends know why. Maybe you’re working on a huge project at work and it won’t be done until the end of the month. They need to know that you’re not using your schedule as an excuse to blow them off.

Make time

Even when you are actually “too busy,” to go out and get coffee with a pal, let them know you’re thinking of them. Send theme a meme or a funny tweet that you think they would like so that they know they’re on your mind. This is where our phones can actually enhance our social lives and keep our relationships alive.

Have a routine

If there are some friends or family that live far away, try to make it routine to see them for holidays or special events. This could mean inviting them to a summer barbeque or hosting a “Friendsgiving” for non- family. Since a lot of holidays ensure time off from work, this is a great opportunity to catch up with those you don’t get to see very often. ⠀

Try regularly reaching out to others for about a week, and then see how you feel. Odds are, you’ll feel happier and more energized even when you aren’t around them. Being in touch with your social network is a great way to feel loved and accepted, and gives you a larger support system. Just knowing that those connections exist helps to release hormones that make us feel good. Feeding your social life is essential to keeping yourself happy and healthy. ⠀

Let your friends know you’re still there! Tag a friend who you wish you could see more often.