Welcome back to Wellness Wednesdays, where we focus on one area of the wellness wheel in depth. This week, we take a detailed look at social wellness! Social wellness encompasses your ability to build, develop and foster healthy relationships with others and with your community. It includes the ways you make and maintain friendships, interact with your family members and develop romantic relationships. Now, let’s take a look at some ways to build and maintain social wellness:
Build healthy relationships:
- Identify the types of people with which you want to build authentic relationships.
- Find ways to build trust in your relationships.
- Be a friend to others first (think about how you can give versus receive).
Expand your social circle:
- Find opportunities to learn about and interact with people of different ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles.
- Look for new experiences like eating at a foreign language table in the dining hall, attending a worship service of a different faith or denomination, or seeing a cultural dance performance. Unfamiliar situations can be opportunities for personal growth and meeting new people.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities at your school. If you are a first-year student and aren’t ready to join a club or activity, go to the programs hosted by your RA and campus organizations.
Handle conflict effectively:
- Try to resolve conflicts through compromise. Consider the other person’s perspective and respect their point of view.
- Be yourself and respect your own thoughts and feelings.
- Focus on your feelings and share your perspective instead of blaming others. Use “I” statements when communicating and be clear about your needs. Say “I feel hurt,” rather than “You hurt me.”
Recognize unhealthy relationships:
- Unhealthy relationships are those in which you don’t feel respected and/or are put down by your friend or romantic partner.
- A relationship is unhealthy if it makes you feel that you are unable to grow as a person, or you feel like the other person doesn’t value your opinions.
- If you fear that you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, contact your school’s counseling center for support.
To get help and support in your relationships, talk to your RA or contact your school’s counseling center. Stay well, collegians! Be sure to stop back next week when we’ll cover the last remaining area of our wellness wheel: physical wellness!