Relationships & Connections Archive


Seeing red? 4 steps to try before responding

Simple coping strategies like counting to 10 are often useful to help you avoid an outburst. But as multiple challenges in recent years have amped up stress levels, those strategies may not be enough. So what steps can you take to avoid reaching your boiling point?

Thinking about holiday gatherings? Harvard Health experts weigh in

If you are gathering with family or friends during this holiday season there is still a lot of uncertainty around how to help keep everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations, particularly when many people will be traveling. Harvard Health Publishing faculty contributors share their own holiday plans and offer advice for safely enjoying the holidays this year.

Grieving: A natural process to help heal

At some point, almost everyone experiences the passing of a loved one whether it’s family, a friend, a spouse, or a beloved pet. Grieving is a natural process that is essential to healing. The best way to deal with grief is to look for ways to make the mourning and healing process less challenging. These include acknowledging grief, embracing the lost loved one’s community, and speaking with others who have gone through grieving.

The benefits of volunteering, without leaving home

Volunteering has many benefits, enabling people to gain a sense of purpose, connect with others, and get a break from their own problems. Those benefits are associated with better health, including greater levels of physical activity, better sleep quality, a healthier diet, reduced rates of cardiovascular disease, and even longevity. A person may be able to reap many of those benefits by volunteering from home, such as doing work for a nonprofit group via computer or phone.

Fostering healthy relationships

While positive interpersonal relationships can boost health, the opposite is often true when it comes to problematic relationships. Chronic emotional stress may put a person at higher risk for a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and even bone-related problems. If a relationship is unhealthy, strategies such as setting boundaries, communicating clearly, and limiting interactions with the person can help.

The art of a heartfelt apology

If you have upset someone, the best way to rectify the situation is by making a sincere, heartfelt apology. But just saying the words isn't quite enough: for an apology to be effective, it has to be genuine. You have to mean it, and you have to make that clear.

End-of-life planning makes it easier to say goodbye

Saying goodbye as the end of life approaches can be difficult, even for someone like writer Joyce Carol Oates. Her recent essay in The New Yorker about the impending death of her husband highlights the need for each of us to think about death and dying — and discuss them with loved ones — long before they become a likelihood.

The health benefits of strong relationships

Strong connections and regular social interaction with friends and family members helps alleviate stress and enhance longevity.

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