Human beings are not made to be solitary; we are all wired for connection. So, yes, social well-being is vital, especially during these uncertain times. Healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships help us understand who we are and where we fit in the world. Treasure these relationships so they grow stronger over time, and be intentional about fostering a genuine connection with those around you. Having a solid social support system is associated with positive health benefits, such as a strengthened immune system and cardiovascular functioning.
If you are looking for ways to boost social wellness, here are some suggestions:
Make connections with others
Participate in discussions that challenge you and practice active listening while learning about differences. Know your interests and use those to create bonds with people who have things in common with you. Check out your local community college where you can take interest-based classes, reach out to others in academic courses or affinity groups, lean on your faith community, or join a volunteer organization.
Virtual check-ins or family meetings
Make plans with your friends and/or family to see one another online. Use this time to check in on their well-being and talk about your lives. There are several platforms that support online meetings; some of the most popular ones include Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime.
Stay social with online gaming
Online video games can be played across long distances. In fact, many gamers have developed social connections with people from around the world while social distancing. Some popular video games worth trying are Animal Crossing, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Jackbox Games.
Online exercise programs
If you miss working out with others, sign up for online exercise classes. Multiple exercise companies are offering free or low-cost online fitness programs. This is a great opportunity for you to meet new people as well as maintain well-developed relationships with your workout buddies!
Watch free online concerts, take virtual tours
Use Google Search or your favorite artist’s social media accounts such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to find upcoming events. Great destinations such as zoos, museums, and aquariums also offer free virtual tours.
These are just a few ways to enhance social wellness. Even though we must physically distance, there are still many opportunities to build connections. How do you nurture social wellness? Share your ideas with us at wellness@IllinoisState.edu—we’d love to hear from you.
Interested in further developing personal wellness? Consider joining LIVE WELL with Eight at State, a free incentive-based program designed to support healthy living in Illinois State University students, staff, and faculty.