Throughout February, Kaiser Permanente will address the role community plays in improving health as part of its “Wellbeing 365: Stress Less & Thrive” initiative in partnership with the city of Santa Monica.

Through the partnership, which launched in September along with the city’s most recent Wellbeing Survey results, Kaiser Permanente and the city produced a series of short videos, in English and in Spanish, that offer tips and advice from many of Kaiser Permanente’s medical professionals on how Santa Monicans can improve wellbeing in the different parts of their lives.

“Did you know that the city of Santa Monica’s Wellbeing Index found that only 56 percent of Santa Monica residents feel they can count on their neighbors?” asks Naibe Reynoso, the host of the above video, which was produced as part of the Wellbeing 365 initiative.

Via smgov.net
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Santa Monica’s Wellbeing survey also found that locals have “relatively low levels of social interaction with 15 percent of participants seeing friends or relatives socially less than once a month.

“Social connections are vital are an important dimension of our wellbeing and vital to our feelings of optimism and resilience,” Reynoso says in the video.

Dr. Juan-Carlos Zuberbuhler, psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, offers some insights in the video on how to improve this particular dimension of wellbeing.

“What is important that you have people in your life whom you can depend on
when the going gets tough,” he says. “Try to connect with people who have a positive outlook and can make you laugh and help you. It’s important to remember that giving support is just as important as getting support.”

Monsignor Lloyd Torgeson, from Saint Monica Catholic Community, says, “Santa Monica is an urban environment and that’s what brings such excitement to a community. And if persons in this community don’t find support, I think it’s because, often times, we don’t give much support.”

“If we participate in the life of city, in the life of a community, I think we have so many rich opportunities for people to respond back to us,” he says.

Kaiser Permanente officials also offered some tips to help improve connections to community:

  • Make time for someone who needs help. Send that person an encouraging email or text message to someone who’s going through a hard time.
  • Make “date” time with your partner or spouse, even though this can be hard if you have young children or busy work lives.
  • Make new friends with people who have similar lifestyles and interests.
  • Look for a faith community that shares your views.
  • Call a food bank or hospital and ask about their volunteer programs. When in social situations, ask people questions about their families, jobs, and interests. This is a great way to find out what you have in common with someone.
  • Develop and nurture your personal relationships – it helps you lower your own
    stress level.
  • Social media is another tool you can use to connect with others. Many people interact more freely with people they can’t see face-to- face. However, face-to-face interaction cannot be replaced. Being together with someone in person is essential for truly authentic relationships and bonding.

Disclosure: Kaiser Permanente contributed to Santa Monica Next’s coverage of wellbeing issues in Santa Monica. Kaiser Permanente does not have editorial control over Next’s coverage of this topic or any other topic.