Active August

Active August

13 August 2020

It can be challenging to re-engage with social activities after a long period of isolation and a lack of social connection. There may be some anxieties or a lack of motivation and energy to get back into the swing of things. Our Psychologist Jonathan writes about the Active August initiative happening in Townsville and the benefits of taking part in social connection activities.

After spending a number of months in lock-down when stricter COVID-19 restrictions were in place, it’s time to get back outdoors (in a socially distanced way!) and get social again. 

In Townsville, we’ve launched Active August as a way to motivate our Mates and bring back some of our regular activities such as yoga, and introduce new ones like woodwork activities, rock climbing, a family beach day and more. These activities still require RSVP’s to align with COVID-19 guidelines, but it’s a great opportunity to re-engage with our social connection activities, particularly if you’ve felt more isolated over recent months. 

There may be some anxieties or a lack of motivation and energy to get back into the swing of things – but we’re here to help you through it. Mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety and PTSD can all contribute to feeling the urge to withdraw and isolate. 

While it can be difficult, we know from research the remarkable benefits of engaging socially. Social connection is important for helping us feel a sense of purpose, boost our mood and bring a sense of peace to our lives.

Social groups provide us with an important part of our identity, and more than that, they teach us a set of skills that help us to live our lives. The benefits of social connectedness shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Here are some ways social connection can make a difference:

  • Improve your quality of life: If you’ve ever moved away from your social ‘home base’, then you have a good idea of just how much social connections can shape your everyday life. 
  • Boost your mental health: Friendships offer several mental health benefits, such as increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress, improved self-worth and confidence. A study conducted at a health clinic in New York found that respondents with insufficient perceived social support were the most likely to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. 
  • Help you live longer: Research has shown that social connections not only impact your mental health, but your physical health as well. A review of 148 studies indicated that the individuals with stronger social relationships had a 50 per cent increased likelihood of survival. This remained true across a number of factors, including age, sex, initial health status, and cause of death.

So, we encourage you to start re-engaging in your social life with some of the activities Mates4Mates have on offer. Call your local FRC for more information about what’s on and get involved today.  

Written by Mates4Mates Psychologist, Jonathon Moscorp

  • Veterans
  • Social connection
  • Partners and families

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