It was said “no man is an island”. We believe the phrase was coined for us to understand the importance of social wellness.
Simply because, if we want to thrive we must establish healthy relationships around us. Social wellness is not only balancing our own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, but also actively participating as an interdependent piece of the bigger puzzle.
Social wellness involves us building healthy and nurturing positive relationships in an effort to foster genuine connection with those around us. It is engaging in and enjoying positive interactions with other people in work and leisure, building and maintaining meaningful friendships, intimate relationships and professional connections.
Are you socially well?
A few signs that can show you that you are on the path to social wellness include
- You usually plan to spend time with friends and family
- Your relations are positive& rewarding
- You accommodate diversity by positively interacting with people of different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs.
Why is social wellness important?
Growing you becomes a joint effort.
When we strive to have a genuine connection with others, we get to be comfortable with who we are around others. Our self-esteem and assertiveness is developed while personal growth is encouraged.
We enjoy healthy relationships.
Through genuine healthy connections, we enjoy positive relationships where communication, trust and proper conflict resolution mechanisms are encouraged.
We manage stress.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Social wellness helps us distinguish between good and bad stress by getting to know how to handles stress and manage it in a healthy appropriate manner.
We Avoid Health Associated Risks.
As a result of a study by Duke University in 2001 it was suggested that the magnitude of the health risk associated with social isolation, the opposite of social wellness, is comparable with that of cigarette smoking. Social isolation has been clinically linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and shown to have a significant impact on the likelihood of experiencing illness in general. It has also been shown to have a dramatic impact on the process of recovery from either illness or injury. The reason is simple, social isolation lowers the function of our immune system. It has also repeatedly been shown to be a major factor in a number mental health issues, including depression.
How to Cultivate Social Wellness.
- Practice Self Care.
Voice over : This is the art of taking care of one’s basic needs such as ensuring that you get enough sleep, personal hygiene, healthy eating, regular exercise and avoiding negative habits such as smoking and over drinking.
- Practice empathy and active listening.
This is a wholesome reflection on yourself and your social needs. Find out aspects in your social life that you enjoy and those that you would like to improve. Identify your needs, preferences and values and communicate them to the people around you. This will help you engage in positive relationships with people who share the same interest and values and will encourage your growth.
- Develop good communication skills.
Becoming a clear communicator means effectively conveying your thoughts, ideas, needs and wants. Communicating clearly helps you manage your time and your life, to feel good about yourself, and to build trustworthy relationships with others.
- Have a support system.
This are positive family and friends. This is done by developing meaningful relationships with friends and family. Go the extra mile and make an effort to try and connect with supportive family and friends.
- Respect yourself and others.
- Join a club or an organization.
You can do this by becoming engaged with other people in your community.
- Balance social and personal time.
Spend time with friends and family by maintaining and developing friendships and social networks. Plan regular lunch dates with a friend or a family. Organize a spa day, go and relax with you and your friends. Call on a friend from long time ago and catch up.
- Create healthy boundaries within your relationships.
- Have fun.
This can be done through finding a hobby such as crafts, art, sporting activity, hiking or dancing.
This is done by engaging in activities that nurture you such as meditation, yoga or spiritual retreat and attending classes in areas on interest.
Not me, you .Do not judge you .Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Too much self-criticism leads to low self-esteem which might lead to depression and anxiety which will inhibit healthy growth. Additionally, being too judgmental on others as well may as well indicate the possibility of unhealthy relationship.
Own up to your part.
When disagreeing own the part you played and avoiding pushing it all to the other person.
Keep your word.
Be mindful of commitments that you make and keep them. Be sure that you can keep your commitment.
Appreciate yourself and others.
Appreciate the positives in your life and that of others.
Be an optimist.
The power of positive thinking can go a long way.
When you think of social wellness, think of it like farming, it takes intention, energy, time, care and effort and is an ongoing process that requires attention throughout our entire life. . It is important to choose a proper plot, carefully prepare the soil, plant the best seeds, and be sure to provide plenty of water and nutrients. In gardening, as in relationships, providing protection from bad weather and regularly weeding out negativity helps to ensure continued growth and beautiful rewards for a lifetime.