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Friends and family provide support and comfort in good times and challenging times. Studies have shown that supportive relationships increase well-being.
Here are some actions you can take to stay connected to friends and family, to let them know how you’re doing, and to ask for support when needed.
Make a point of staying in touch with the friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers who are a positive force in your life. Meet them for coffee. Go for a walk. Call to catch up. Or send a quick text to share something that made you think of them. Let them know how important they are to you. Even a simple note saying, “How are you?” or “I’m glad you are in my life” will let them know that you care about them and keep the connection current.
Strong, healthy relationships with loved ones increases our sense of belonging, improves our confidence, and reduces stress and anxiety. Staying connected promotes feelings of well-being, wards off feelings of sadness and loneliness, and it makes it easier to ask for help. Different people can provide different kinds of support all of which can be helpful.
It’s always a good idea to let caring friends and family know how we’re doing. But it takes courage. Talking to others about our feelings can be difficult. We worry about upsetting them or changing the way they feel about us. And when we’re not feeling our best, we may feel like withdrawing from others completely. Even so, sharing our feelings with someone we trust is the first step toward feeling better.