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Finding connection — in February and all year long

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) Tera Moorehead–    

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air. But love is always around us in our connections with one another. The Beatles captured the power of love and the impact such relationships can have on our lives in their 1967 anthem, “All You Need Is Love.” Experiencing the joy and fulfillment that comes from the various forms of loving and being loved by others has been identified as a key component of wellness.

“Research shows that social connectedness can lead to longer life, better health, and improved well-being.” When we connect with those around us, whether that be with a significant other, someone in our family, a friend or coworker, or even with other community members, we feel a sense of belonging and a feeling of joy. This feeling may vary from relationship to relationship. Still, the underlying fulfillment it brings to our lives is the same – connecting in a meaningful way with another person makes us happier and healthier.

According to the CDC, social connection with others can help:

Improve your ability to recover from stress, anxiety, and depression.

Promote healthy eating, physical activity, and weight.

Improve sleep, well-being, and quality of life.

Reduce your risk of violent and suicidal behaviors.

Prevent death from chronic diseases.

Through connecting with others, we can support one another through the good times, the hard times, and all the times in between. Living in a small town, sometimes you feel like you are connected to almost everyone. Everyone knows everyone’s business is an often stated fact. Still, the reality is that through this close-knit community, many find it comforting to know they could ask each other for help and support and most likely receive more than they asked for. At RRH, we provide a variety of ways for individuals to connect and support one another. From support groups to weekly classes, these programs help those in our community come together, connect, and build relationships.

“Relationships, being key players in affirming an individual’s sense of self, satisfy the basic human need for belongingness and are a source of positive affirmation.” We all have this desire to connect and to belong, and we impact each other’s overall well-being, satisfaction, and happiness when we choose to connect. Instead of looking at February as just the month of love, let’s look at it as an opportunity to connect with others, build one another up, and have a positive impact on the health of those around us.