Social wellness means being aware of, participating in, and feeling connected to your community. Social well-being is enhanced by establishing supportive social networks through meaningful relationships with family, friends, colleagues and other significant individuals.
Supportive social networks not only help you build assertive communication skills, but also enhance your self-esteem, allowing you comfort in being your true self in social situations. Social wellness enables you to create boundaries that encourage communication, trust and conflict management.
Here are some good strategies in building your social wellness and fostering supportive social networks for yourself:
Offering friendship to people is a first step to social wellness. Without this initiative, it will be difficult for you to take advantage of potentially productive relationships. Consider joining groups and clubs that focus on your interests. Explore other avenues that may present certain possibilities for you, such as volunteer work and travel.
Choose your relationships.
Some relationships take a toll on people. Sometimes, it could come from experiences with an abusive partner, an overbearing relative or an insincere friend. The problem here is that all of these can cause unnecessary strain on your emotional state and affect your ability to function socially.
Learn to build and stay in healthy relationships.
These relationships involve people you care about and who care about you and your well-being. Generally, these are people whom you feel can nurture and support your needs and whose needs you yourself can offer support for. Since there is trust and compassion, you feel safe and satisfied, two vital ingredients for social wellness.
Don’t feel the pressure to conform.
This is a rather tricky step because often, conformity is required in the society we live in. However, cooperating with standards and mores doesn’t necessarily mean changing yourself and becoming a person you are not. Everybody’s different and it’s our job to accept that. If you try to conform, you’ll find that the pressure to change yourself will affect you in many ways, all of them negative.
Learn to communicate effectively.
You can only do so much about hiding your feeling and thoughts. Being able to communicate well is a vital component of social wellness because this is generally how you initiate relationships in the first place.
Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! Seven is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Participants log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings and compete toward end of the year overall point totals. Participants also receive the Seven e-newsletter and information on campus wellness events.
For additional details and to sign up, visit Wellness.IllinoisState.edu/Seven.