5 Steps to Improve Social Wellness
July is Social Wellness Month. Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. Healthy relationships are a vital component of our physical and mental well-being. Our social health and wellness play a huge role in the way we experience the world. In an age of non-face-to-face interactions and digital social networking, people are becoming more isolated than ever. Social connections influence your brain health, and studies show that the better your relationships are, the longer and happier you will live. The suggestions below may help you form deeper connections and make you feel a part of something bigger than yourself.
Surround yourself with good peopleA strong support system has a positive influence on your overall well-being. Try to keep a tight-knit circle with your loved ones and make an effort to seek them out during challenging moments. It’s a give-and-take, so be there when they need you, too.
Practice self-careYou practice self-care every day by doing activities such as brushing your teeth or eating fruit. But bringing intention and mindfulness to self-care is different, such as rewarding yourself after a job well done and taking time to recharge. Taking time for yourself can end up improving your relationships with others, so try not to underestimate the value of a little “you-time.”
Engage in hobbies and extracurricularsEngaging in hobbies and extracurriculars helps you find a better work/life balance and reduces stress. Join a recreational sports team, paint, garden, take an exercise class or go on a hike – whatever hobby you pick up, make sure it brings you joy. It is a bonus if you include someone else, as common interests can deepen relationships.
Stick to a healthy routineHaving a routine will make you feel better, and help you positively impact the people around you. In general, people feel better when they get enough sleep, eat healthily, get regular exercise, maintain a normal weight, drink less alcohol, and don’t smoke. Research shows that those who follow all five of these habits can live a decade longer than those who don’t. Maintaining a routine is hard work and takes commitment, but the benefits could be the difference between life and death.
Continue working on better communicationIt’s a lifelong skill that requires constant work. By nurturing your communication skills, you set yourself up to be a better leader, spouse, employee, parent, and friend. Try to practice active listening, make good eye contact, improve your posture, and make yourself heard through effective communication.
Improving social wellness may take some time, but the benefits are great. It can be as easy as making a list of habits that you would like to incorporate into your daily life and practicing them. Small steps go a long way as you work on your communication skills and develop a healthier lifestyle. The effort you put into fostering these relationships and skills has numerous long-term benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
If you would like more information about social wellness and creating a healthier lifestyle, Firelands Health can help. Firelands Center for Coordinated Care offers programs for weight management, smoking cessation, diabetes management, and more. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, or other issues, Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services has office locations in seven counties in the surrounding area. Contact us for more information.