Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Family and Friends – Good for Your Health

This time of year, our plates can feel pretty full. With the holidays comes the hustle and bustle of shopping, social events and celebrating holiday traditions. While this time of year can definitely be busy, gathering with your family and friends is important and gives you the chance to catch up, share stories, laugh and make new memories – and these are all good for your health!

Adults with strong social support systems have reduced risk for health problems like depression, high blood pressure and unhealthy BMI. Studies show older adults with strong social support can live longer than their peers without these relationships.

While stress can encourage inflammation in arteries, you’ll be happy to know that spending time with your friends and family can help you better handle stress and lower blood pressure. Expressing yourself and your feelings to loved ones provides emotional support versus keeping it inside or turning to negative coping such as drinking or smoking.

Time spent with friends and family also encourages connection, communication and can build self-esteem. Bonding helps give a sense of belonging, purpose and safety; which can prevent unsafe activities when looking for connection.

Here are some ideas for activities with family and friends that can be done during the holidays or year-round!

  • Game nights

  • Exercise

  • Arts and crafts

  • Prepare a meal or holiday treat

  • Volunteer

  • Attend community events

Remember, your health is important! Because taking care today, leads to even healthier tomorrow.

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