Social Wellness is an emerging category that addresses how our connections and integration into our communities —including the workplace— affect and drive our overall health.
This article from Optimum Performance Institute breaks down the areas that affect our overall Social Well-being, giving us a guidelines on how to improve our Social Health and Wellness. I particularly like the guideline called “Don’t Be a Flake” because it refers to integrity, one of the most overlooked aspects of being in good social connection with others. Integrity allows us to examine our motivations and intentions: it gives us a sense of wholeness and alignment with our values.
Read on for the 7 Guidelines to good Social Health and Wellness.
“Social wellness involves openly communicating needs, feelings, thoughts, and desires to those we trust, and actively listening with empathy when they share with us. It involves engaging in and enjoying positive interactions with other people in work and leisure and building and maintaining meaningful friendships, intimate relationships, and professional connections.
To cultivate your habits of social wellness, follow these seven guidelines:
Practice Self-Care. Finding balance in life can be difficult at times, and we are much more prepared to deal with obstacles if we are in a good habit of practicing self-care. Self-care embraces basic needs such as getting enough sleep, bathing and brushing your teeth, eating healthy, exercising regularly and avoiding negative coping mechanisms like smoking or over-drinking.
Know Thyself. Get to know yourself—identify your needs, preferences and values and communicate them to the people around you. Knowing who you are, who you want to be and where your boundaries lie supports you to engage in positive relationships with people who have similar interests and values, and can relate to you while encouraging your growth.
Don’t Criticize, Judge or Blame. People can easily get caught up in self-critical thinking, which perpetuates low self-esteem, contributes to depression and anxiety, and inhibits social interaction. No one wants to be judged, criticized or blamed, and if those dynamics are present, it can indicate an unhealthy, and potentially abusive, relationship.
Own Up to Your Part. In every relationship, there are two people involved and each contributes to any situation that comes up, whether positive or negative. Take responsibility for yourself in disagreements or conflict by using “I” language and don’t push all the blame onto the other person. When an individual argues for the sake of being “right” rather than trying to understand the other side, the other person may feel invalidated or unheard. This can result in resentment, further conflict and the eventual end of the relationship.
Rekindle old friendships and nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive and supportive. No human being is perfect. Everyone gets caught up in the challenges of daily life at times, and rekindling old relationships that have been positive ones in the past is a great way to strengthen your social support system. Maintaining friendships with individuals who respect, love and accept you for who you are is crucial to our social wellness.
Don’t be a flake! Be mindful of the commitments you make and keep them. Know your limitations and don’t spread yourself too thin. Before making a commitment, be sure that you can realistically meet that expectation, taking into account and prior commitments and self-care.