Is social wellness a priority in your life? If not, it should be. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), social health and wellness deals with the relationships and connections you form with others around you.
If you’re not sure where to start, the NIH created a series of strategies you can use to improve different areas of your social wellness. Here are six different ways to do that.
- Put effort into making connections.
Actively looking for ways to connect with others can positively impact your overall wellbeing, too. These connections should be intentional and mutual. Try finding things that you have in common with new people, starting a new activity with your family or even setting a weekly meet-up with your friends.
- Remember self-care is important.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, and most people will end up having to take care of someone else at some point in their life. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself as you’re taking care of others. Choose self-care strategies based on how effective they are for you specifically. Spending time on your interests, taking breaks each day, and eating healthy are all ways you can practice self-care.
- Be active with other people.
Whether it’s your family, a group of friends or people in a workout class, spend time being active with other people. Go on a walk around your neighborhood with your family or spend some time at the park with your friends. Adding a weekly workout class to your schedule can help with this, too.
- Form bonds with your children.
Being a parent can be difficult, but the most important thing is making sure you’re available and consistent in your interactions with your kids. Giving them a safe space they can come to when they need emotional support is a crucial part of forming an emotional bond with them. Also, forming those bonds early can help your children cope with anything life throws at them.
- Make sure to build healthy relationships.
Building healthy relationships is especially important early in life, but you’re never too old to learn how to improve your relationships. Knowing what healthy relationships look like can help shape your definition of one. These relationships can be an important foundation throughout your life. Make sure you’re being respectful and expressing empathy for others.
- Intentionally shape family habits.
If you have kids, they probably look up to you and they might even copy what you do. If that’s the case, make sure you’re setting a good example for them to follow when it comes to health. This can look like making healthy choices easy for them, limiting how much time you spend on your phone or watching TV or infusing fun into anything you do. However you decide to do it, be intentional about setting healthy habits for your family. And remember, it’s not just about setting an example for kids. Adults can model healthy habits and encourage each other, too.
Prioritizing your personal social wellness won’t just have a positive effect on you; many of the people in your life will also benefit from your improved social health. To read all of the NIH’s suggestions for improving your social wellbeing, check out their social wellness toolkit.