We asked wellness-oriented industry experts and podcast guests from Wellness 3.0 to define “social wellness” and what it meant to them. After talking with experts, we learned that social wellness meant something different to everyone. With that being said,
the one thing we all do have in common is that social connectivity is something we need.
We live in a socially conscious world. By this I mean, we seek to improve the world (for example, reducing our carbon footprint by carpooling with a friend to work). But let’s face it: Caring is trendy right now. It’s gone mainstream. We care about our health too, making lifestyle changes that encourage us to live a health-conscious lifestyle of balanced goodness.
And while yoga classes, organic energy bars, paleo diet, and other cultural manifestations are good for us, there’s an elephant in the room that we are dying to discuss.
“Health” is a term that’s expansive and, in some ways, immeasurable. It contains a million sub-definitions within it, so as it turns out, the number of squats you’re doing at the gym or the superfood smoothie you ordered this morning probably isn’t cutting it from a Wellness 3.0 perspective.
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
This is how experts define “Social Wellness”:
1. Feeling a Sense of Belonging
“I think of social wellness as being a sense of interconnectedness and interdependence — kind of a sense of belonging. I talk a lot about wellness as a result of place attachment, and I think of it just as contentment, but when you add that ‘social’ on, I think it’s the relationships that we have that help us feel like part of a whole. It’s easy today to get really isolated. I want people to understand that feeling like you are part of something bigger than yourself, feeling like you are interrelated in your community is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself — physically, emotionally, and mentally.”
2. Having In-Person Connections
“It’s having connections with people of different ages, of different belief systems, and having them be in person as well as digitally because I think there is a growing number of people that have so many digital connections that they’re missing the in-person on some level.”
Co-Founder, Living Room Conversations, MoveOn.org, & MomsRising.org
3. Consistent, Authentic Connections
“I look at social wellness as consistent, authentic connections with other human beings.”
Founder, Project Helping, Kyndub, Kyndkit
4. Commitment to Community
“It requires a commitment to the importance of community, and the importance of showing up as a contributing, compassionate, empathic member of that community in ways that nourish self and nourish others. And I think if each of us committed to being a source of community support, that would do a great deal.”
Co-Founder, 1440 Multiversity