Social connections are central to our well-being. Humans from the beginning of time relied on one another for survival. While the current world we live in is very different, one could suggest an even higher need for social connection retreating from the demands and complexity.
Having friends and family fulfills a natural human need to belong, to feel supported, valued, and socially connected to others. Connecting socially also provides other health and well-being benefits.
Benefits of connecting with others
If you find yourself being too busy on a regular basis to connect with others, consider the advantages of taking time to socialize:
- Pushes the happy meter up
- Increases your quality of health
- Points to a longer life
- Cultivates resiliency after experiencing hardship
- Strengthens your immune system
- Lowers anxiety and depression
- Increases self-esteem
Additionally, connecting with others can make for a more interesting life, sharing diverse perspectives and experiences with others. Time with others can also rejuvenate us. However, with all things we choose to invest in, time is a central component. Has time gotten away from you where you have been meaning to pick up the phone, send a text, or meet up with a family member or a friend, or find a place where you can make new friends? If so, take action and make time to connect. The investment certainly has its rewards.
Ways to connect with others
Whether you want to connect with existing family or friends and/or seek to make new connections, here are some ideas to help you take action.
Connecting with existing family/friends
- Invite them on an adventure, or to have a cup of coffee, or share a meal,
- Send a card or a letter, even if it’s to a family member at your own address.
- Look for ways to share meaningful time with your existing relationships.
- Look for ways to improve existing relationships.
Connecting to new friends
- Join an organization.
- Take a class.
- Lend a helping hand to someone in need.
- Join or start a group focusing on something you enjoy doing.
Time spent with others we care about is not something we can recapture. Try to take time for your relationships and build memories and not regrets. Your health, well-being, and relationships will thank you for it.
What’s Your Social Wellness Look Like? You can assess your social wellness here.
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.