Social benefits

Social benefits

Improvements in the quality and quantity of social connections can bring tremendous benefits to most people’s lives. Everyone is social to a varying degree, and it is a natural and essential part of life. Having a healthy social life does not mean you need to be a complete social butterfly who always makes new friends. Instead, the quality of the connections you have in your life is what matters. Having a healthy social life has many benefits. Research from the Mayo Clinic reveals:

Socialising staves off feelings of loneliness and helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being and may even help you live longer.

Building connections

Having a housing companion means much more than sharing a home and expenses with someone. The connections you build and activities you do together are what make your housing arrangement unique. By surrounding yourself with people who share positive thoughts and are willing to help, you may find your happiness and quality of life greatly improved. Discussing positive experiences with others will lead to increased energy, heightened well-being, and increased overall life satisfaction.

Research from Brigham Young University shows that discussing positive experiences leads to an increase in energy, heightened well-being, and increased overall life satisfaction. 

Building connections is something that naturally occurs in a companion home. Doing simple activities together such as sharing meals, shopping, watching movies, and car-pooling will build trust and deepen your connection. These connections rarely form spontaneously, rather over time, through continual sharing of activities and experiences. The importance of these activities should not be ignored. Each instance allows for a deepening of the connection and a more accurate sense of oneself. As your comfort increases with your housing companions, you can expect to feel safe to share your emotions, challenges, and joys in life. These deepened relationships create an environment of support that will help lift everyone’s feelings.

Sharing our joy increases joy

Telling people about our happiness has far greater benefits than just remembering it or writing it down for ourselves.

~ Dr. Emma Seppala

Intent matters

When done right, a companion home can be a very joyful living arrangement. By working through the modules and guidelines of this course you will have the tools you need to create a happy and harmonious companion home.

Connection building activities

help-with-yard-work

Doing activities with your housing companions is an important part of building trust with one another. The more activities you do together, the easier it will be to establish a supportive and enjoyable home environment.

Activities in and around the home

Over time, maintaining a yard can feel like a full-time job. However, sharing that yard and the chores that come with it brings back the joy of having a yard. Living in a companion home provides many with an opportunity to have a yard, something that is not attainable with many other housing options. 

Typical tasks to share include yard work, household cleaning, and seasonal preparation. Doing these activities together provides a greater sense of ownership and respect for the home and property where everyone lives.

Whether you own or rent a house, living in a companion home would be of great benefit if you like to travel.  This allows you to save money on things like house sitting and pet care. As a bonus, your mind is at ease knowing there is someone at home to watch your home and stay on top of small maintenance activities. 

Tip: If your housing companions are less experienced with a yard or garden care, take some extra time to show them your tips and tricks. Don’t assume they understand exactly what you want.

sharing-meal-housing-companions

Sharing of food

Sharing of meals is an important and central part of a healthy companion home. When you sit down to discuss the structure, each person is likely to have different ideas and desires about when and how often meals are shared. Weekday dinners and weekend brunch are the most commonly shared meals. You and your companions will elect to share any meal you like, as often (or not) as you would like. 

It is said that sharing meals can improve your mood, combat feelings of isolation, and even help improve your self-image. Whether you are a person who enjoys sharing your food or not, there is no disputing that slowing down to enjoy a meal with another tends to be a relaxing and enjoyable human experience.

Weight Loss! Did you know that eating meals with others can help you lose weight? This is attributed to most people eating slower when with others and making healthier food choices. A little bit of peer pressure can help you develop some healthy habits around food.

Tip: Stick to basic and nutritious recipes that can make good leftovers. You don’t need to spend a lot to make mouthwatering meals that are good for sharing and good for you!

housing companions playing board game together sitting on floor

Social events

Who doesn’t like having fun? Playing games and doing activities with your housing companions may be the best way to connect and bring more happiness into your home. Look for activities that everyone can participate in, such as multi-player cards or board games. Consider bringing out some of your recently baked treats and a pot of tea to help up the excitement. These activities can be scheduled, or they can be spontaneous. These events do not have to be limited within the home. If you find it exciting, chances are your housing companions will as well.

housing companions high five outside peer support hiking

Outside the home

Choosing to do some activities together outside the home provides an excellent opportunity to know each other better. Having someone new to do activities with can also open up new and exciting opportunities to enjoy life. This can be a great way to find new motivation to try things and live a more active lifestyle.

Examples of activities: shopping, going for a hike, attending fitness or yoga classes, or going on a road trip.

Exercise

What are some activities that you would love to do with others, and what activities do you prefer to do alone?

Complete the self reflection exercise below to earn points!