There are times in the year - change of season, holidays - when there's a slowdown in our social schedules and it's not unusual to have a steady stream of gatherings with family and friends as people make time to connect with those closest to them.
While for some it's a welcome break after a month of parties, for others it can be quite the opposite.
A recent study on Australian living arrangements found that one in four Australian households comprises someone living alone. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but 26 per cent reported that they often felt lonely, compared with 16 per cent of people living with others.
Even more concerning is that 25 per cent of people living alone rated their physical health as below average, compared to 17 per cent of people living with others.
Keep social bonds strong
So as our social calendars wind down it's important to remember to remain connected with those closest to us.
It doesn't have to be a big party or social gathering: a quick catch up over a hot drink or even a regular phone call is all it takes to help keep social bonds strong.
First published in the Adventist Record