We know that our social connections with others are a powerful buffer to stress and build resilience. In this time of increased loneliness and lower COVID rates, more people are working to reconnect and build friendships. We’ve learned in the past two years of the pandemic we can take advantage of these weeks of respite between surges to recharge and shore up support. One researcher studied how much time it takes for adults to move from acquaintances to casual friends to close friends. Many people find it validating to know how much time it takes to really deepen connections and form friendships as an adult. You can check out the research article here: https://news.ku.edu/2018/03/06/study-reveals-number-hours-it-takes-make-friend
EAP has a number of initiatives to help you work on relationships skills, such as the Strengthening Relationships Presentation series: https://eap.utexas.edu/strengthening-relationships-presentation-series
EAP also offers opportunities to connect with others in the UT Community. The monthly series, Building Community during Times of Change brings people together to give everyone a voice in a dialogue about the intersection of well-being, mental health, and belonging. The goal is to provide peer support, social connection and education to build a community of support at work, and the link is https://eap.utexas.edu/building-community-during-times-change
EAP has an ongoing groups meetings that you can join. There are twice weekly, virtual drop in meditation groups at https://eap.utexas.edu/trainings-groups-handouts/groups-and-series/mindful-meditation
EAP’s weekly virtual parenting program lets parents join breakout rooms for support with other parents of similarly aged kids or other parents that are solo parenting. Throughout the year, EAP offers various short-term educational support groups, such as an eldercare support group and a postdoc support group. Check out the EAP website for ways we can help you build connection at https://eap.utexas.edu/.
If you would like to speak with an individual counselor, you can request an appointment by contacting 512-471-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.