To live rich, full, active lives it's crucial to care for your long-term health. You may be familiar with the benefits of improving your gut health, your mental health, and even your emotional health. But what about your social well-being?
By nature, humans are social creatures. “Human beings are wired to connect – and we have the most complex and interesting social behavior out of all animals,” according to Michael Platt, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Further, “this social behavior is a critical part of our adaptive toolkit. It allows us to come together and do things that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own."
In this way, social wellness refers to the relationships we build with our family, friends, romantic partners, colleagues, peers, and community—both online and in-person. Equally as important is how you interact and respond to your social circle. With this in mind, we've put together a list of five ways that you can check-in with your own social wellness.
How to Build & Maintain Social Wellness
1. Evaluate your friendships
Think about the five or so friends that you are closest with or that you interact with the most on a weekly basis. Consider how these five people treat themselves, you, and others that they regularly engage with. If someone doesn't uplift you, support you, or offer the type of care you need, you can "break up" with a friend. Not every friendship needs to last a lifetime, sometimes they simply run their course. And that's perfectly okay. If it's time to end a friendship, here are a few tips on how to do it peacefully and respectfully.
2. Create a space for safe discourse
At times it may feel like the world is changing at a rapid rate (because it is!). If you're feeling excited or nervous about an upcoming event such as an election or policy change, we encourage you open up a space for safe discourse with your friends, family, or personal network. This can be a space online, on a Zoom, or in-person. To keep things neutral and give everyone a chance to freely voice their opinions, try enlisting a moderator or a third party. You can also develop a set of questions or prompts to guide the conversation. Remember that everyone's voice matters, including yours.
3. Join a support group, community, or membership
We're living in a world that is easily connected through technology. There are tons of online communities that focus on a variety of topics—everything from activism to hobbies to parenthood. Do a quick Google search on a group that's aligned with one of your interests. Take a look at the leadership team or the group hosts. Reach out to a current member to get their take on how the group may be a supportive option for you. Look into group reviews and feedback. If you're interested in gut health, mental health, and building body confidence, we invite you to join The Confidence Collective (get more info on our community below).
4. Carve out space for "me time"
As social as humans may be, we all need a little down time. We encourage you to find a few moments each day (even if it's just five minutes) for some self-care. Taking time for yourself, to unplug or recharge your batteries, is key to being your best self. "Me time" can look different for everyone. Maybe for you it looks like slowly sipping on hot tea with lemon in the morning while you sit outside in the sun, or going for a short walk after work, or taking a relaxing bubble bath at the end of your day. Find something that you look forward to everyday.
5. Reconsider the type of media you consume
With so much happening in the world right now, you may have the urge to constantly check the news or maybe you're becoming more attached to your phone. Whether you enjoy listening to podcasts, cable news, scrolling on Twitter, or reading the newspaper, be mindful of just how much media you are consuming. How often are you reaching for your phone to see the latest updates? Further, look into the accreditation of the media companies that you follow - who are the journalists, their sponsors, and can they validate their sources. Try regulating the amount of time you spend reading the news. You can even set timers on your phone or limit app use. How and what we consume plays a major role on our social well-being.
The Confidence Collective
If you feel discomfort around what's happening in America right now, know that we are here for you. We built our community, The Confidence Collective, to be a safe place for all humans. We discuss everything from body autonomy, gut health tips and facts, gut-friendly recipes, and how to build confidence. We invite YOU to our community. Join our crew today.