How to relax and destress

Relaxing with family and friends

One of the best ways to relax and destress is to spend some away-from-work time with those you love—of course, this means family but don't forget to include your friends. According to the experts, sometimes spending more time with family is good but sometimes it adds anxiety to the mix if you're having family squabbles or issues. This is why the holiday season. when more of us tend to either go home or make sure we meet up with family, can add to your stress.

Sharing good times and bad

With my cousin Robin.

Still, you don't want to miss the family time—even if it puts you a little on edge.  This is what memories are made of. Spend as much time as you can with the family members you truly feel at home with.

What you might want to consider is also adding extra friendship time to the mix, especially with longtime friends. These are the people you're likely to feel you can share anything with, good times or bad, because you've already been through so many ups and downs together.  

The gift of life

Whether you spend your downtime with family or friends, “Reaching out means we are giving each other, literally, the gift of life,” says a report in (of all sources!) the Tri-State Livestock News. 

Is it true that we increase our chances in the longevity stakes when we spend more time with friends and family.? Yes, say experts. According to a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, 23 percent of people who reported being lonely during the study period died within six years. But only 14% of those with regular companionship died within the same period. (Report Simplemost)

TIME Magazine says that spending time with friends can be as important (or more so, (see above!) than spending your relaxing hours with family.  Quality friendships—with people you understand and get on with and vice versa—is especially important. As are friendships with spouses, children, and other family members. But the relaxation factor may be greater with longtime trusted friends, who have been through it all with you.

The bottom line is that the more social interactions you have, the more impact this will have on your good health, well-being, and longevity.