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The Social Wellness dimension involves having healthy relationships with friends, family, and the community. Since the global pandemic of COVID-19 in early 2020, this has proven to be quite a challenge for many of us. We’ve at times, had to replace meetups and dinner dates with watch parties and zoom meetings. However, social wellness is one of the basic human needs and should not be overlooked.
Humans have been described for centuries, originally by Aristotle around 350BC, as social animals. “Fitting in” is something people do instinctually. Being part of a group, a family, community, or social circle provides us with safety and helps us feel secure. We are prone to living in groups with complex social systems and structures. Much of what we do or don’t do may be socially motivated.
Space to Be Social
However, in today’s modern culture, there is more room than ever to speak our minds and share ideas. Whether this is an enhancement, or a detriment depends on your perspective. Many people now socialize on social media, a space for self-expression, as well as shared judgment. Some may speak out fervently on topics like politics and religion in private conversations or at group meetings, which can be diplomatic or polarizing. It is important to evaluate our social conduct, keeping close to our authentic voice, while being mindful of the connections we all share concerning the needs of others and humankind.
Meeting People – Social Wellness
Meeting new people is another way to maintain social health. Once we have developed our authentic voices and points of view, we are ready to share and contribute to community interests and meet others who share similar (or different) outlooks. Each interaction we have, whether it’s a chat with the convenience store clerk, meeting a stranger on the subway or talking to another parent at the playground can open the door to building new friendships and relationships. Being open to meeting people from different backgrounds than yours can be especially nourishing and widen our social lenses.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Setting aside time to spend with family and friends and visiting places we want to go should be a priority, even as our social world changes dramatically. We can pick up the phone, send an email or write a not anytime to let someone know we’re thinking about them. Scheduling regular visits or check-ins can be done on your calendar, making it easier to remember special occasions and set times to make social wellness shine for you and those around you.
Social Wellness Toolkit (https://www.nih.gov/health-information/social-wellness-toolkit-more-resources)
Join a meetup (https://www.meetup.com/)
Dimensions of Health Series
Loving Life — The Reboot!
This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.