Open your Heart to Connecting with Others

Recent research shows that loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to your health as smoking or obesity. It’s important to nourish your soul through supportive relationships. Those connections can serve as positive role models, keep you accountable, and provide encouragement and motivation toward your goals.

Here’s how some of the Bellin Lifesavers used the buddy system to improve their health:

  • Connect. Belong. Heal. Marcia Kritzler-Egeland helps herself stay on track by helping others who have also had a heart attack. By leading a monthly peer-to-peer support group called WomenHeart, Marcia both gives and gets support, information, and encouragement for living with heart disease. JOIN a group near you or START a group in your area by calling (920) 433-7438. WomenHeart provides training, materials, and ongoing guidance.
  • Getting Healthier Together. Rachel Lom and her husband knew they had to be on the same page in order to commit to better health. They both improved their nutrition and worked out together every day to make a real difference in their family’s lifestyle.  Connect with our “family” at Bellin Fitness.
  • Coworkers Get the Job Done. Amy Winzenried and Karen Sinette teamed up to lose weight and postpone knee replacements. Their shared goal helped them both make progress on something they had struggled to do on their own.  Consider joining or becoming a Team Champion for the Bellin Run Corporate Challenge  to provide support, fun, and motivation in the workplace.

You can be a Lifesaver by living wholeheartedly through connecting with others. Expanding your social support network is one of the most powerful, life changing, perspective altering things you can do! It may sound impossible or overwhelming but it may not be as difficult as you think.  If you wish to develop supportive relationships, try the following tips…

  • Smile and say hello – look people in the eye while doing this.
  • Hug and kiss your children and significant other upon seeing them, at the end of the day and when leaving. Do this even if you’re busy or feeling neglected by them at the moment.
  • Put down technology and really listen when someone speaks to you.
  • Encourage others via phone calls, texts, emails or cards. (even if you, yourself are feeling blue).


This article was written by a Bellin Worksite Nurse as “Use the Buddy System for Better Health”