Connecting and building a strong support system can help you manage your mental health and overall well-being.
Brene Brown, who specializes in social connection, says “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and to belong.”
Be authentic when connecting with others.
Some ways to be authentic with others is by being honest, vulnerable, truly listen to others, and taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions.
It is important that your support system is a two-way street and to set aside planned time to connect with others.
Make a list of your support system. Who can you go to if you need a listening ear, if you need words of encouragement if you need the hard truth? This can often be the same person, but it is important to communicate your needs in the beginning. i.e. “I need you just to listen to me; I am not in a place for advice right now.”
15 Ways to Get Connected
1. Talk with Friend
Call a friend either to just talk to get your mind off whatever is stressing you out or for some support.
2. Find a Support Group
Look for a support group, those who can share in your life experience and struggles.
3. Talk to a Family Member
Call a family member that can be open to listening, gives good advice, and keeps your best interest in mind.
4. Write a Letter to Someone
Pen to paper can be therapeutic and can help you reflect on your feelings.
5. Meet up for Coffee with a Friend
Meet up with friends on a regular basis or call up a friend to see if they are free to chat. Try a virtual coffee meetup to stay safe and get support.
6. Go on Date
Date night can be fun with your partner or if you are single with someone new. Getting dressed up and having a date night with your best friend can be fun.
7. Interact with Your Pet
Pets often love us unconditionally. Try teaching your dog (or fish) a new trick.
8. Compliment a Stranger
Give a compliment to a stranger. Random acts of kindness can help us feel more connected to humanity.
Giving your time to an organization you feel passionate about the cause of can lead to feeling good about yourself. This can be done in person or there are many other ways to help. Look online or give a call to see what the best way for you to help is.
10. Hug Give
Giving or asking for a hug from your family or friends can help boost your feelings of connection.
11. Join a Book Club
You can join a book club or start a book club with your friends. Many are online these days. Try looking on places like Facebook groups, on meetup, or your local library.
12. Find a Group
There are lots of online groups that have people with common interests from hiking to favorite TV shows. Some meet up in person, while others are only online. You can find a group that meets your needs or try to create one if you can't find what you are looking for. Meetup, Facebook and many others are places to try to find a group that fits you.
13. Play a Game
You can invite a friend to meet up to play a game or play online.
14. Utilize a Hotline
There are several national and local hotlines to support you with various needs SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357); National Suicide Prevention Life Line 800-273-8255
15. Find a Therapist
If your symptoms become too overwhelming try finding a therapist. This can often be a scary or hard step, but know that you are worth the investment and worth healing.
It is important not to deal with your mental health alone, having a good support system is essential to healing and maintaining your overall well-being.
If you would like support from a therapist contact Monica
Stay tuned as I continue to dive into the different types of coping skills and encourage you to:
Monica McNeeley is a licensed therapist, LCSW, provides online therapy in the state of California. She has been providing therapy services since 2011.
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