Can Spending More Time with Your Loved Ones Help You Live Longer?
A family hugging taking a family photo on the beach.

Can Spending More Time with Your Loved Ones Help You Live Longer?

pathmedical Self-Care

The answer is YES! Nurturing a healthy, consistent relationship with your family members, friends, or significant other can greatly improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s vital that you take the time to “live a little” each day and not live to work. Regardless of age or status, organizing time for the important people and relationships in your life can lead to less isolation for both parties involved. Nurturing interactions with children typically result in higher confidence levels and revitalizing communication with elders creates a boost of social support. Both of these scenarios can significantly strengthen one’s willpower. 

Benefits of a strong work-life balance may include an increase in:

  • happiness
  • self-esteem
  • self-control
  • productivity
  • motivation
  • positive thoughts
  • healthy lifestyle
  • support systems
  • lasting bonds

The company of a close companion is especially important in times of struggle or pain.  Keep in mind, burying yourself in your work does not only negatively impact your life and wellbeing but the lives of those around you. This can lead to missing valuable life experiences, such as your 10-year anniversary dinner or your child’s first dance recital.

Detrimental effects of a poor work-life balance may include an increase in:

  • anxiety problems
  • sleep deprivation and fatigue
  • depression
  • stress levels
  • absenteeism
  • weight gain
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • risk of cardiovascular disease, substance abuse, and/or sexual health problems

Recommendations:

If your schedule is too hectic to squeeze in extra plans and activities, a wise recommendation is to fit your family and friends into your day-to-day endeavors. For example, invite a friend over for wine on a Wednesday as you meal prep. Encourage your significant other to go on a 6 AM jog with you before work. Include your children in more tasks around the house, for example, laundry, which simultaneously results in fewer chores for yourself. Can’t go wrong there! You can even create new traditions, such as a monthly family movie night or a periodic picnic in the park.