Social health and wellness play a huge role in the way you experience the world. The suggestions below will help you form deeper connections and make you feel a part of something bigger than yourself.
What is social health and wellness?
There isn’t a single rule for practicing social health and wellness. In general, they encompass a set of behaviors and lifestyle habits that promote strong relationships with peers, family, and even strangers. Being socially healthy means actively listening to others, treating your body with respect, and knowing how to communicate your thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
How can social wellness be improved?
Practicing social wellness can be as simple as making a list of habits you’d like to integrate into your life. This practice can have far-reaching benefits on your physical and mental health.
Why is social health important to overall wellness?
It may sound like an oversimplification, but social connections influence our brain health. Our friendships, family dynamics, and romantic partners all contribute to our social health and well-being. Studies from the Harvard Medicine School suggest that the better your relationships, the longer and happier you’ll live.
10 tips to stay socially healthy
Surround yourself with good people
Sometimes we need to be reminded how damaging toxic relationships can be to our health. Having a poor support system is tied to depression, heart disease, cognitive decline, and even increased mortality.
A strong support system, though, has a positive influence on our overall well-being. Try to keep a tight-knit circle with your loved ones and make an effort to seek them out during difficult moments. It’s a give-and-take, so be there when they need you too.
Treat your body like a temple
Otherwise known as self-care. You practice self-care every day and may not even realize it. Brushing your teeth and eating fruit are two examples. But bringing intention and mindfulness to self-care is different.
Self-care means rewarding yourself after a job well done, taking an unexpected day off to recharge your batteries, and remembering that you need some self-love too! After all, those who take care of their mind and body through self-care may live longer than those with poor self-care habits. Taking time for yourself can end up improving your relationships with others, so try not to underestimate the value of a little “you-time.”
Engage in hobbies and extracurriculars
Because work isn’t everything! There are numerous benefits to shutting off the voice in your head that says you’re supposed to be working 24/7. Engaging in hobbies and extracurriculars helps you find a better work/life balance and reduces stress.
Join a recreational sports team, paint, garden, take a dance class, or go on a hike—whatever hobby you pick up, make sure it brings you joy and takes your mind off of work! Bonus points if you include someone else, as common interests help you form deeper relationships.
Continue working on better communication
It’s a lifelong skill that requires constant work. Nurturing your communication skills, you set yourself up to be a better leader, spouse, employee, parent, and friend. Try to practice active listening, make good eye contact, improve your posture, and make yourself heard through effective communication.
Find healthy coping mechanisms
Stress is inevitable, but how you react to it is a choice. Experts recommend taking up stress-relieving activities such as yoga, getting enough sleep, and calling on your support system when you’re overwhelmed.
You may want to consider hemp extract for a botanical boost. Supplementing with plant medicine promotes relaxation and focus, especially on stressful days.
Set and keep boundaries
This extends to your personal and professional life. You may decide to turn down an after-work invitation or tell your partner you’d like some alone time. Medical professionals encourage us to set healthy boundaries as they allow us to express who we are as opposed to who people expect us to be.
Follow through on your word
As the adage goes, you’re only as good as your word. That means you should show up on time, keep promises, and do what you say you’re going to do. For the benefit of others and yourself, following through on your word is the foundation of good social health.
Be okay with alone time
Believe it or not, being alone improves our social health and wellness. Alone time allows us to channel chaotic energy in a healthy and meaningful way. When we’re around people constantly, we start to feel drained. Getting to know yourself away from others also fosters independence, so you aren’t codependent on others.
Check-in with your people
Oftentimes, when we’re sad or stressed out, we withdraw into ourselves and feel alone. If this is your instinct during stressful moments, you should call on your social network for help. Having a friend, family member, or co-worker you trust makes a huge difference in your emotional well-being. You may need to vent or want to ask for advice. Both can be a source of reassurance.
And the same goes for other people. If someone you know is going through a hard time, reach out and let them know you’re there for them.
Stick to a healthy routine
By sticking to a routine, you’ll not only feel better but make a positive impact on those around you. People feel better, for example, when they get enough sleep. Routines may sound like work, but research says there are true benefits to practicing these five habits: eat healthy, get regular exercise, maintain a normal waistline, drink less alcohol, and don't smoke cigarettes.
Those who maintain all five of these habits live a decade longer than those who don’t. If you have people in your life who rely on you, forming healthy habits and sticking to a routine can be the difference between life and death.
To sum it up
If you’re reading this, you’re seeking to develop better social health and wellness, either for yourself or someone you care about. Small steps go a long way as you begin to work on your communication skills and form healthier habits.
The main takeaway is to remember the reason behind all of these changes: to see an improvement in quality of life and to experience many long years of happiness in good health.
What are some social wellness examples?
Social wellness can be any aspect of human communication, from making good eye contact to confidently expressing your ideas.
Habits to improve social health-what are they?
Try getting together with peers who share the same interests as you. Having a hobby lowers stress and boosts work performance. According to Psychology Today, hobbies are also known as active leisure activities because they inspire and reinvigorate other parts of your life.
What are some social health activities?
Being on time, following through on your word, and showing empathy for others are perfect examples of social health activities you can do now.