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Benefits of Social Activity

Social activity is good for a person regardless of who you are, where you live, or how old you are.

Hot Springs, Ark. – Social activity is good for a person regardless of who you are, where you live, or how old you are.  Social connectedness can include people you look forward to seeing, people you have something in common with, and people you trust such as family, friends and co-workers or other people you interact with; other examples are your health care provider, banker, and store clerk.  Quality relationships help to provide ongoing joy, support, love and purpose, and maintaining these relationships can play an important role in the benefits of social activity.  Social connectedness can also include activities in your community or in your home and there are several ways to get connected.

  • Join a community center, club or committee
  • Organize a get-together with friends, family and neighbors
  • Go to a movie, sporting event, or festival
  • Travel
  • Eat out
  • Volunteer
  • Take educational or hobby courses
  • Plug into technology

 

Being socially active doesn’t always mean you have to leave your home.  It is easy to stay connected with those both far and near through technology.  Common avenues that are being used today are Facebook, Instagram, text messaging and video messaging.  Of course the telephone, email and the “old fashioned” letter writing and card sending are still good ways to stay connected if you are not plugged in to the latest technology.  Medical services are even available online.  These include tele-medicine, tele-nursing, and tele-therapy that allow health care professionals to check on you and remind you of your health care needs while you are at home. 

It can be a challenge to be socially active when you don’t want to be, so it is important to know your own personality and social preferences.  For some, engaging in social activity can be energizing, while others prefer more quiet time.  You may also struggle with social activity because you are depressed.  Being depressed may make you feel like you want to be alone, but social isolation can actually make depression worse.  To help ease symptoms of depression, even though it may be difficult, seek out social interaction even if it is with one person, such as one-on-one interaction with a close friend, family member, or a therapist.

There are several benefits to being socially active, including:

  • Improved social skills
  • Improved academic performance
  • Positive attitude
  • Enhanced self-esteem
  • Connection to peers, groups, and your community
  • Reduced risk of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementias
  • Reduced risk for mental disorders, such as depression
  • Better brain health
  • Overall happier and healthier lifestyle

It is important for people of all ages to reflect on things that matter the most to them and to decide if their time and energy are being balanced properly. It is also important to recognize that meaningful social activity will be different for everyone and that this can change throughout your lifespan as you experience various life transitions, such as losses.  Let relationships and social activities help you with your life’s transitions. 

For more information on Keys to Embracing Aging, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, or visit our website at www.uaex.edu.

EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu. 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

 

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu

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  • The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

    The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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