In the age of COVID-19, many of us feel more disconnected from co-workers, friends, and loved ones than ever.
It’s imperative for our social health to learn how to stay linked to the people in our lives that we care about most. Social health means nurturing yourself and your relationships. It means giving and receiving social support — ensuring that you have friends, family and even co-workers to turn in times of need or crisis to give you support.
Research shows that a strong social well-being can offer benefits such as lower stress levels, greater self-esteem, and a healthier, longer life.
Building successful relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and others can have a positive impact on not only social health, but also overall social well-being. When social health is at its best, social support networks become one of the important benefits.
July is Social Wellness Month
Many steps can be taken to help improve and maintain social health. Here are a few ideas to cultivate social wellness as a whole.
- Connecting: Studies have shown having strong social connections can help protect overall health and lengthen life. Connect with others who share similar interests or pursue new hobbies. Trying new things opens the door to meet like-minded individuals, gives the opportunity to interact, and builds social circles.
- Communication: Communication is a critical component to build healthy relationships. The ability to share feelings, desires, and needs with one another sets the foundation for greater social wellness.
- Virtual Team Building: Remote work is new to nearly everyone, and although many businesses are reopening, some are sticking to working from home for the remainder of the year. And for those with little experience in this form of work, it can be difficult to remain a tight-knit team and keep motivation as high as it is in the office. Virtual lunches and happy hours, health and wellness challenges, and collaborative playlists are a few ways to help your team stay connected to one another.
- Investing: It’s easy to let daily life and routines take over, and feel like there is not enough time to invest in fostering relationships. Check in often and make plans with friends, family, and others to maintain healthy relationships and optimal social health.
- Be thoughtful: Send a customized WFH kit to let your employees know they are valued. Take time to socialize, whether it be socially-distanced or digitally. By strengthening a social support system, this will provide help when difficult situations arise.
- Self-Care: Social health is critical to maintain at home and in your work environment. Whether you’re a caregiver, raising a family or managing a team, it is necessary to care for yourself in addition to others. Take breaks, maintain hobbies and interests, and ask for help when needed.
As we navigate the ever-changing world during COVID-19, being isolated from co-workers, friends and family, we hope these ideas will help you nurture and maintain your relationships, and create space for yourself as well.