Keeping up Your Social Wellness…

Keeping up Your Social Wellness...

Keeping up Your Social Wellness…

Questions to ask yourself to ensure social wellness:

Do I plan time to be with my family and friends?

Do I enjoy the time I spend with others?
Are my relationships with others positive and rewarding?
Do I explore diversity by interacting with people of other cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs?
Interesting Health Facts About Social Wellness (or Lack There of):
  • Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
  • Touching, stroking, and hugging can improve health.
  • Laughter really is good medicine.
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
  • Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities)
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.

What is Social Wellness?

Social Wellness is the positive effect people have on your mental and physical well-being. It is based on the positive relationships with family, friends and colleagues, how well you interact with your community, and how your network of relationships supports your quality of life. As you progress on the path of social wellness you will notice the importance of your involvement with your community, take an active role in promoting a healthier environment, and experience positive interactions with those around you.

Social Wellness: Food for Thought

  • Laughter really is good medicine
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.

How do I improve my social wellness?

  • Get to know your personal needs and pursue things and people who nurture those needs.
  • Develop awareness of the positive impact that certain people have in your life.
  • Keep a close connection to those people who are supportive in your life, and make a specific effort to communicate with them.
  • Seek out new relationships. Recognise that the most important relationships don’t always have to be romantic.
  • Attend wellness forums or perhaps start an interest group such as a book club.
  • Be involved in volunteering activities or community programs that are of interest to you.

Start today on the pursuit to developing and maintaining a balanced social wellness.

What is social wellness?  It is about nurturing ourselves, others and our relationships. Social wellness consists of not only balancing our own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, but also actively participating as an interdependent piece of the bigger puzzle of humankind.  Thus, even as we care about our personal connections, we also care about the greater good of society, including our communities and the environment.

Social wellness involves openly communicating needs, feelings, thoughts and desires to those we trust, and actively listening with empathy when they share with us.  It involves engaging in and enjoying positive interactions with other people in work and leisure and building and maintaining meaningful friendships, intimate relationships and professional connections.

To cultivate your habits of social wellness, follow these seven guidelines:

Practice Self-Care.  Finding balance in life can be difficult at times, and we are much more prepared to deal with obstacles if we are in a good habit of practicing self-care.   Self-care embraces basic needs such as getting enough sleep, bathing and brushing your teeth, eating healthy, exercising regularly and avoiding negative coping mechanisms like smoking or over-drinking.

It also includes using positive coping skills to manage stress, self-soothe and relax through fulfilling or creative outlets like hobbies, crafts, art, sports activities, hiking, dancing, and social interactions with friends.  You may also choose to engage in activities that nurture you emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, such as meditation, yoga, therapy, journaling, taking classes in areas of interest, spiritual retreats or attending religious services.

Know Thyself. Get to know yourself—identify your needs, preferences and values and communicate them to the people around you. Knowing who you are, who you want to be and where your boundaries lie supports you to engage in positive relationships with people who have similar interests and values, and can relate to you while encouraging your growth.

Don’t Criticize, Judge or Blame.  People can easily get caught up in self-critical thinking, which perpetuates low self-esteem, contributes to depression and anxiety, and inhibits social interaction.  No one wants to be judged, criticized or blamed, and if those dynamics are present, it can indicate an unhealthy, and potentially abusive, relationship.

Own Up to Your Part.  In every relationship, there are two people involved and each contributes to any situation that comes up, whether positive or negative. Take responsibility for yourself in disagreements or conflict by using “I” language and don’t push all the blame onto the other person. When an individual argues for the sake of being “right” rather than trying to understand the other side, the other person may feel invalidated or unheard. This can result in resentment, further conflict and the eventual end of the relationship.

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