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“The immune system’s natural killer cell activity is negatively affected by three “distress indicators” – one of which is lack of social support.  One study of 75 medical students found that those who were lonely had more sluggish natural killer cells than students who were social”  Andrew Weil, MD

Some family and social situations around the holidays can be especially stressful. You may want to limit these and learn more about setting boundaries. But this does not have deter you from finding comfortable ways to increase your social interaction and engagement during the season and for the rest of the year. Everyone is different in their need and tolerance of social interaction.

A good general rule if you find yourself isolated or feeling lonely is to first think about what kinds of social interactions and situations which feel good and have worked for you in the past. Do more of that!  Then, work to find situations where you can stretch your limits and move out of your comfort zone in order to increase your social interactions and connectedness, but be careful to that you don’t stretch so much that you become overwhelmed or extremely anxious.
Small successes will do wonders for your health, and even perceived failures help to stimulate your immune system and give you new information for the next time around.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”