February's here, which means it's time to stock up on wine and Gilmore Girls seasons and call it quits with the outside world! That's what it means, right? That's what my body tends to tell me around this time.
Rather than listen to those vitamin D-deprived whisperings, taking a more active approach will help make you feel better this winter. A study published (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) that found feeling lonely can compromise your body’s resilience to disease, and also, it's ability to handle stress.
The study examined the behaviours and emotions of 141 people over the course of five years, and found that when people felt lonely they had much higher norepinephrine levels in their blood (a hormone that works to increase alertness, support memory, and focus your attention; it also increases restlessness and anxiety.) When norepinephrine is "shooting through the body," it slows your ability to fight off viruses, making you more susceptible to getting sick.
My advice to you this Feb? Rather than shutting yourself up and spending all your spare time alone, put on your big girl pants and socialize to stay healthy, and not just online, either. Here are our pointers for getting out, feeling good and making it count.
Volunteering can be one of the most fulfilling hobbies. Especially if you’re looking to switch up or find your right career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and make some connections in the field. See what’s out there in your community – most youth organizations, community theatres, health co-ops and libraries rely on volunteers to thrive.