Social Wellness Month
Social Wellness means nurturing yourself and your relationships. It means giving and receiving social support and making sure you have friends and family to turn to in times of need or crisis. Social Support enhances the quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. Social support can take different forms:
- Emotional Support—actions people take to make someone else feel cared for.
- Instrumental Support—physical, such as money and housekeeping
- Informational Support—providing info to help someone.
Social Wellness is important and a vital component of health. Research shows that people who have strong social networks tend to live longer, have a healthier endocrine system and cardiovascular function, and an enhanced immune system. Lastly, it shows people with healthy social wellness respond better to stress.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to attain healthy and lasting relationships.
- Become a master of commitment—it’s important to be aware of what you are committing to so that you can judge whether or not you have the capacity to follow through.
- Make commitments you can stand by—it’s important to be honest and empathetic to each other’s feelings, hopes, and dreams.
- Break the cycle of blame and criticism—it’s important to own your part in the relationship dynamics.
- Become a master of verbal and nonverbal appreciation—showing appreciation of others is critical to healthy relationships.
So, how can you grow your social network if you don’t already have one?
- Work out. Joining a gym or class allows you to meet new people while exercising.
- Take a walk with a pet. It gives you an opportunity for physical activity and to meet your neighbors.
- Join hobby groups virtually or in person. (Hiking, painting, running, etc.)
Additional Resources: wholefamily.com, healthyplace.com, apahelpcenter.org