As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to recognize July as Social Wellness Month. During this month, focus on nurturing yourself and your relationships. Social wellness and keeping a strong social network play a role in almost every aspect of your health. There are many forms of social support that affect the strength and security of your relationships. As we begin to reconnect with loved ones following the pandemic, there are a few things you should focus on regarding social wellness.
What is social wellness?
Social wellness involves giving and receiving social support. It’s about nurturing yourself and your relationships to have a strong, fulfilling, and uplifting social network. The three main forms of social support are emotional, instrumental, and informational. Giving and receiving emotional support helps you feel cared for and balanced. Instrumental support refers to physical support such as money, helping around the house, or providing care during sickness. To give informational support, you would provide information or advice to help someone. These forms of support are all important for social health, especially as the world is opening up after the pandemic.
Why is social wellness important?
Social wellness has many benefits on your mental, social, and even physical health. Having strong relationships and feeling supported by the people you’re surrounded with correlates to a positive self-image. Your confidence and personal wellness will carry over into your relationships and make you want to be a better friend, parent, child, sibling, etc. Social wellness is also important because it affects your physical health. Your body and mind work together, and it’s important to focus on taking care of both. People with healthy relationships literally have a healthier heart. They respond better to stress, and they even tend to live longer than people with weaker social networks.
Reconnecting with friends and family after COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been deprived of social contact the past year. Being alone has become part of our lifestyle, and it can be hard for some people to go back to social situations after adapting to isolation. One way that may make it easier to reconnect with people after the pandemic is making commitments that won’t overwhelm you. It’s okay to ease back into social situations at your own speed and comfort level, but only make commitments you can stand by. Being honest about your availability and staying connected and committed is a very important part of nurturing friendships and relationships. It may be difficult to step out of your comfort zone after the pandemic, but there are steps you can take to get yourself out of isolation mode. Exercise with a group, go out for a meal, or take up a new hobby with a friend. You can even join a club that interests you, which may lead to making new friends. Reach out to your family and friends to see if they want to connect. If you aren’t comfortable connecting in person due to COVID-19, you could go on a relaxing walk, engage in a new individual hobby, and video chat with friends and family.
In this day and age, it may be difficult to be present in your relationships due to the existence of social media. Social media can be a blessing and a curse: it can help you stay connected with people online, but it also distracts you from what really matters. During the pandemic, it was easy to get addicted to social media. Throughout this month and going forward, focus on what matters and start each day with a new attitude. While spending time with friends or family, be present in your conversations. Keep an open mind and appreciate the time you have with the people you love. Showing love and appreciation keeps relationships healthy and open. As the pandemic settles, focus on nurturing your relationships and remember to love often.
Post written by Jill Bosela