July is Social Wellness Month

Celebrate Social Wellness Month by nurturing your social relationships. Volunteer with a group. Call an out-of-state friend. Join a hiking or running club.

Social wellness means nurturing yourself and your relationships. It means giving and receiving social support – ensuring that you have friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image

Why is Social Wellness Important?

Healthy relationships are a vital component of health. The health risks from being alone or isolated in one’s life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity.

Research shows:

  • 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 healthier cardiovascular functioning.
  •  Healthy social networks enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Nurture Your Relationships

  1. Become a master of commitment. It’s important to be aware of precisely what you are committing to, so that you can realistically judge whether or not you can follow through on the commitment.
  2. Make commitments you can stand by. In a relationship, it is important to be honest and empathetic to each other’s feelings, hopes, and dreams.
  3. Break the cycle of blame and criticism. It is important to own your part in the relationship dynamics.
  4. It can be helpful to shift your attention away from “fixing the other person” and onto more creative expressions for resolving conflict. Shifting the focus in this way will help to inject more positive energy into the relationship.
  5. Become a master of verbal and nonverbal appreciation. Showing appreciation of others is critical to healthy relationships.