As July comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on Social Wellness, did you know that July is Social Wellness Month? Now what exactly does that mean… Social Wellness is nurturing yourself and your relationships with others.
Social wellness is important because healthy relationships are a vital component of your overall health. Research show that people who have a strong social network tend to: live longer, respond better to stress (including their heart and blood pressure), have overall healthier endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and have immune systems with enhanced abilities to fight off infectious diseases.
To cultivate some habits of social wellness, you can follow these guidelines:
· Practice self-care. This means getting enough sleep, bathing, and brushing your teeth, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding negative coping mechanisms like smoking and over-drinking.
· Use positive coping skills to manage stress. Self-sooth and relax through creative outlets like hobbies, crafts, art, sports activities, hiking, dancing, and social interactions with friends. You can also choose activities that nurture you emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, such as meditation, yoga, journalism, taking classes in areas of interest, spiritual retreats, or attending religious services.
· Get to know yourself. Identify YOUR needs, preferences, and values. Then, communicate those to the people around you. Knowing who you are, who you want to be, and where your boundaries lie, enables you to engage in positive relations with people who have similar interests and values.
· Rekindle old friendships and nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive, and supportive. No human being is perfect. Everyone gets caught up in the challenges of daily life at times and rekindling old relations that have been positive ones in the past is a great way to strengthen your social support system. Giving more energy to positives rather than negatives helps keep us happier, healthier, and overall, more hopeful. Regularly acknowledging the positive things, you see in yourself and paying general compliments to others you care about feels good all the way around!