It’s not just an apple a day that can keep the doctor away; socialization can boost your body and spirit, too. Social prescribing—when healthcare professionals “prescribe” (or refer) their patients to non-clinical services & social activities in their communities to improve their health and wellbeing—is a hot topic in movement disorders. It acknowledges the real and profound impact of loneliness and social isolation on quality of life, offering the nourishing balm of connection. Here are our top 8 ways to boost your social engagement:
Isolation has proven to have negative effects on both physical and mental health. Attend a party, invite your friends over for the game, share a meal with family, or do what you love with the people you love.
2. Change Your Scenery
In addition to isolation, never leaving your home has negative effects on your physical and mental health. Take a walk around the block or go have lunch in a park.
3. Get Some Exercise
As we know in the movement disorders community, exercise has many benefits to our overall health and wellbeing. Be sure to take your regular walks, yoga stretches, and boxing lessons.
Sometimes, trying to manage your daily symptoms can be exhausting. Volunteering is a great way to socialize and boost your sense of meaning and purpose by sharing your talents and treasures.
5. Sing Regularly
Not only is singing your favorite song fun, it also helps strengthen your voice, muscles, and lungs. Whether in the shower or the car (when the only one listening is you!), or at a karaoke or your choir, set yourself free to the tune of your favorite song.
6. Join a Support Group
Knowing that you’re not alone is transformative. Enjoying consistent connection with people experiencing a similar journey is a special kind of healing.
7. The Buddy System
Peer-to-peer support with regular check-ins has proven to be quite effective. Get yourself a buddy and commit to regular phone calls and in-person meetings.
8. Go People Watching
Sit on a bench in a crowded area and simply observe the world around you. Studies show that even being around people while not necessarily interacting still has positive effects.