Social Wellness Matters
Mental health, physical health – google either one. You’ll find billions of articles and websites with helpful information and advice. But there’s another critical factor in your overall well-being: social wellness. Our connections and interactions with others play a starring role in healthy and happy lives.
The global health services company Cigna completed a survey on social wellness, which revealed that 47% of Americans reported they felt lonely, left out, and lacked meaningful connections.
Feelings of isolation can have real impacts on longevity. And may shorten your lifespan as much as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Conversely, scientific evidence suggests that adults with diverse relationships and high levels of social support are less likely to get sick. That is good news! So, let’s discuss ways to enhance your social wellness.
Steps to Boost Social Wellness
There are steps you can take steps to boost your health and happiness. First, pay attention to your social well-being because it yields dividends. Those dividends include enhancing the quality of the life you lead. Then, try these strategies to build supportive relationships and strengthen your sense of community.
Connect to Family and Friends
- Seek balance. Your social wellness encompasses both the time you spend alone and with others. Being comfortable with your thoughts and feelings allows you to enjoy your own company.
- Be genuine. Your relationships will be more meaningful if you reveal your authentic self. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable can feel risky. But the reward is being known, understood, and appreciated for who you are.
- Set boundaries. Permit yourself to define reasonable guidelines for how others treat you. Let people in your life know how you’ll respond to behavior that you find unacceptable – and follow through.
- Assert yourself. Ask for what you need and stand up for what you believe. Be clear about the things that matter most to you.
- Resolve conflicts. It’s natural to have disagreements with loved ones. What matters is how you handle them. Address differences promptly with direct and tactful communication. Take a breather if you need to calm down.
- Encourage healthy lifestyles. We tend to make the same choices as the people around us. Team up with others to reinforce positive habits. Eat nutritious meals, work out together, and keep each other accountable.
- Share your home. Many adults today experiment with different styles of living arrangements for financial or social reasons. Consider whether having a roommate would enhance your life. Or, would creating an intergenerational household make life easier?
- Have fun. Socializing provides significant health benefits. And hopefully, it comes with plenty of laughter. Make room in your schedule for movie nights, dance parties, and whatever brings you joy.
“Connecting with others gives us a sense of inclusion, connection, interaction, safety, and community.” – Susan C. Young
Connect to a Wider Community
- Value diversity. Although close relationships count, it is beneficial to expand your social circle. Seize opportunities to talk with people from different walks of life. You may learn more about yourself and test your social skills.
- Pursue your interests. A love for jazz or organic gardening can help you discover new friends. Go to events or shops where you can mingle with other fans. Take classes or join clubs – either in-person or online. Perhaps it’s time to try something new.
- Love your neighbors. How well do you know your neighbors? Introduce yourself so you can greet each other by name. That’s a great place to start. Then get involved. Join neighborhood associations. Help organize block parties. Be on the lookout for elderly or disabled neighbors who may need your help.
- Volunteer your time and give back to the community. Conduct an online search to find nonprofits near you that you can help. You get the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause. Also, you might meet some interesting people.
- Socialize online. Is COVID-19 still limiting your offline plans? Take advantage of technology. Use Zoom and other platforms to host a local meetup. Try a virtual happy hour to connect with remote coworkers.
“There is a depth to life which only comes from our connection to other people.” – Donna Goddard
You can stay connected even if you are spending more time at home. First, nurture a supportive network of family and friends. Then reach out to others in your community. And if you need a little help building meaningful connections, book a complimentary consultation with Ascentim today!