Connect

Key messages:

Connecting with other people has a bigger impact on your health than quitting smoking.

Getting outdoors and finding your purpose are also really important.

Connect with people

Making connections with others has more of an impact on your health than you might think. As a human, you are wired for connection. It's a key part of human survival.

But in an increasingly digital and frantic world, connection is disappearing. People are eating together less and taking part in fewer social activities. Even before COVID, more people than ever before were saying they were lonely.

Social isolation and loneliness cause stress hormones to soar, and this is damaging to your health.

Improving your connection with other people will have a positive impact on your health. Here are some simple ideas to try:

Join an online group or take up a new activity with others.

Spend more time with people you love. Try video calling them or send them a message to say how much you appreciate them.

Try out a simple act of kindness.

Find out how technology can help you feel less isolated. AbilityNet provide resources to help people use digital technology more effectively.

Social prescribers attached to your GP practice can connect you with local community groups. Why not arrange an appointment with yours?

Connect with nature

Everyone needs nature and the calm it brings. Try getting to one of the local parks, or walking somewhere just outside London - how about the Thames Path, the Chilterns or one of these circular walks near London?

Or check out this National Trust link for inspiration https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/everyone-needs-nature

Connect with your purpose

Finding time to give to others and reconnecting with the bigger picture of who you are and what you value will provide some significant health benefits.