Science says that we’re designed to be social; we’re meant for companionship.

2020 had an interesting spin on how we stay connected, with most of us “social distancing”. Despite this, there’s been a huge emphasis on ensuring we stay connected while being physically apart. Why is their global angst about disconnecting?

It turns out the concern for us isn’t just rooted in sentiment, but in science as well. It turns out that people who go through life alone are more at risk of developing chronic stress. Moreover, those without social support structures are more likely to develop depression, heart disease, cancer, and have an impaired immune function.

Whoever first claimed we were social animals seems to have hit the nail on the head.

At the same time, being in toxic friendships or family units can be equally bad for your health. 

If going into lockdown was a sigh of relief because you’re usually surrounded by negative people, it’s time to seriously consider how you can make changes in your life to edit out the negative influences. 

Remember, science has your back on this. Your health and wellness literally depends on the environment you choose to be in .

Here’s three ways that healthy family units or friendships are good for you:

Support structures

Having healthy relationships affords us ‘an eye in the storm’, a place of security amidst the craziness of life. 

Whether we need emotional support, a sense of belonging, tangible support like financial assistance or even a place to live, family and friends can be a safe harbor when we need it most.

Reality checks

Sometimes, we don’t realize when something is bad for us, whether it’s an activity, a relationship or a habit. We have all been there. Fortunately, when we don’t see it, our friends and family often do. 

Family and friends share the hard truths with us that are never easy to hear, but are often the light we need to guide us through the storm.

Let’s face it, if we are going to hear hard truths, we want it to come from someone we know has our best interests at heart. So, when your friend or family member gives you a reality check, remember to be grateful they care enough to do so.


Sometimes, we need an extra push when pursuing our goals or when we start procrastinating and making excuses. 

Our close friends and family who love us will often give us the kick in the butt we need to stay on track. We are rarely grateful in the moment for the kick, but once we cross the finish line we always remember who had our backs.

If you’ve been alone a lot this year, we encourage you to reconnect with friends and family or get networking to find wonderful people you can build a relationship with.