July is Social Wellness Month, which is a great time to strengthen and de-stress your relationships. It reminds us that we need to reach out to others and build stronger social ties with family and friends as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around us. After months of uncertainty, social distancing, and quarantining, the people in our lives mean that much more to us and now is the perfect time to let them know it!
Dealing with other people isn’t always sunshine and roses, unfortunately. Humans are complex so sometimes we have issues with our peers that can be a bit difficult to handle. Social wellness also enables us to create boundaries that encourage communication, trust and conflict management. Having good social wellness is critical to building emotional resilience which, in turn, is necessary to have strong, meaningful relationships throughout our lives.
In short: social wellness helps keep us grounded and is a holistic way to improve the quality of our lives. But that’s not all! While it strengthens mental health and emotional durability, it also can help increase the body’s defenses against stressful life events.
Research shows that:
- People who have a strong social network tend to live longer.
- The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
- Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and cardiovascular functioning.
- Healthy social networks enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.
So, how do you work on improving your social wellness when the majority of the world is still stuck in quarantine? Something as simple as a text or phone call can go a long way, and most modern cell phones have the ability to video call. You can even use applications like Zoom, Skype, and Discord to host a large group call so everyone can get a chance to chat together for a long-distance family reunion, birthday celebration, or just a weekly check-in to see how everyone is doing.
For those that prefer something with less technology involved, just sending cards or letters through the mail can be really special, and signing up for a penpal program is a perfect way to ‘meet’ new people that might just become lifelong friends. You can also ship things to your loved ones in the form of goodie boxes filled with sentimental trinkets or new supplies for that hobby they might’ve developed while social distancing.
Be sure to celebrate Social Wellness Month 2020 by developing good communication skills, promoting meaningful relationships with your peers, respecting yourself and others and creating a support system that includes family members and friends.