Our personal relationships affect both our mental and physical health, making it important to build and maintain social connections.
Did you know that social connections — the relationships you have with the people around you — not only help to make life more enjoyable but also are essential for health and wholeness? In fact, studies have shown that our personal relationships can affect both our mental and physical health, so making and maintaining social connections should be as much a part of your daily routine as exercising and eating right.
As social beings, humans crave a sense of belonging and closeness. If we neglect this need to connect, we put our health at risk. Here are three reasons positive social connections are crucial for well-being:
The need for social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis put a pause on normal social activities, like getting together with friends, attending a ball game, or having family picnics. Even as restrictions are lifted, many people are continuing to limit their in-person interactions. Despite the challenges, there are many ways to connect with others both in-person and virtually. Here are some ideas:
The Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), administered by Cigna, offers additional resources and tips for building and nurturing relationships. Eligible employees*, their family members, and anyone who lives with them can access articles, videos, and other tools by logging on to the Cigna website (one-time registration is required) and clicking the Work/Life Resources link on the EAP coverage page, or by calling the EAP at 866-640-2772.
And, if you're struggling with feelings of loneliness or isolation and don't know who to turn to, you can live chat or talk to an EAP advocate 24/7. If additional support is needed, the EAP provides unlimited phone consultations (20-30 minutes) with a licensed clinician and up to six private counseling sessions (in-person or virtual) with a dedicated counselor in Cigna's EAP network, all at no cost to you.
Employees and spouses with medical coverage* through the Board of Pensions can also participate in Call to Health challenges to help build resilience and connect with others. Current challenges include Resiliency: Stress – The Mind Body Connection; Share a Time You Showed Resilience; and Read about Biblical Resilience, to name a few.
*The EAP and Call to Health are not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.
Sources: Cigna Behavioral Health, uchealth.com