For Heart Event Survivors

Building a Support System

You don't need to go it alone.

Whether you're recovering from a heart event, or are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes, it's important not to feel isolated. From family and friends to support groups, there are lots of people who can - and want to - help.

Strength in numbers

The support of family and friends can help relieve your stress and anxiety, but it's important to reach out beyond your immediate network. Different people - or groups - can help you in different ways.

  • Empathy. It can be reassuring to connect with others who are going through the same thing. For example, if you've suffered a heart event, a patient support group can help you adjust by seeing how other survivors are coping.

  • Motivation. Trying to revamp your eating habits? Hook up with a like-minded friend and become diet buddies. Or find a role model who's successfully lost weight and can inspire you to keep going. The key is to build a support system that enables you to become your best self.

  • Accountability. No matter how driven you are, having someone else keep an eye on you can keep you on track. Make a deal with your diet or exercise buddy that if one of you slips up, the other will (gently) call you out on it.

  • Recognition. It's no fun to celebrate alone. As you make progress and meet goals, share your success with the people who've supported you and will be proud of your progress.

Finding the support you need

The active I Am ProHeart Community on Facebook is a great place to connect with others who are committed to a heart-healthy lifestyle. If you're recovering from a heart event, take a look at Mended Hearts. For more than 50 years, they have encouraged survivors through support groups and outreach programs.

If your goals include losing weight or exercising, there are lots of ways to find support. Weight Watchers can be an excellent source of motivation and inspiration. And if you want to be held accountable to your exercise regimen, the online community at Fitocracy can help keep you on track.

Connecting with others is a key part of the ProHeart Path. Building a social support network can help not only your mental well-being - it can help you stay healthier and live longer.

"The day before, I had been walking the beach alone and I kept breaking out in a cold sweat."
Connie K., I am ProHeart Community Member