Friendship and Emotional Wellness
Is wellness your New Year’s Resolution? Don’t overlook the importance of new friends and meaningful connections! Whether or not you wrote it down in a journal, posted it on your social media feed or simply talked about it with friends, you probably made some sort of New Year’s resolution related to wellness.
Nice work! But that’s just the first step. The hard part is putting it into action.
Wellness and Social Connections
Wellness isn’t just exercise and eating clean. Wellness begins with connection. To be well, whole and healthy, friendship is absolutely essential. Humans are naturally social beings. In fact, Harvard University research has found a strong link between the strength of our social relationships and our life expectancy. To form those social relationships this new year try the following:
- Determine the steps. Write down what you can do to meet your goals. It’s not enough to just have them - you also need to know how to reach them. There are lots of great tools to help you with this. The Simple Elephant Planner is an analog solution for organization and goal setting. You start with the big picture and then break things down. As the year progresses, you review your goals, log your efforts and determine the next steps.
- Visualize. Imagine yourself in 2021 with better emotional wellness. See your new social network before you and the path to get there will emerge. Although visualization exercises may feel a little bit out of your comfort zone at first, they have been proven to work for athletes, race car drivers and are a common practice in goal setting.
- Act. Start making the necessary moves to put yourself out there to meet the right people, the ones you’ll really get along with. Many of us are trying to find new friends to hang out with but so much of the lives we lead is behind a screen. We are disconnected from the face to face reality that builds truly meaningful and lasting friendships. Can we leverage the digital world to make connections with real-life people in order to lead healthier lives? Absolutely. Using digital tools is a brilliant way to find like-minded people to meet up with in person.
Turn a Digital Connection into an IRL Companion
Start with technology to get an initial connection, but go analog to develop a meaningful friendship.
- Use an app. There are tons of great apps to help you find like-minded people. Free apps to meet people are so abundant that choosing one can be overwhelming. If you are looking for platonic relationships, skip dating apps. Use an app like Panion to meet people of all ages and genders for platonic relationships. To avoid awkward situations, you want everyone's expectations to be clear.
- Go IRL ASAP. Once you make friends online, immediately set up a time to meet. People will appreciate your forwardness and be glad to have met more than a penpal. Emotional wellness can start online, but it can’t stop there.
- Get back on the app. You have lots of interests and for each one there is a new, fun person out there to keep you company. Keep looking for the people you are going to click with, the ones who will make you laugh, listen to you cry and allow you to be you.
Try to open up and be yourself because wellness starts from within. To start making meaningful friendships, we have to be our authentic selves. You won’t meet someone you get along with until you are clear about your interests, desires and wishes.
Make sure to be honest and share your story. You won’t meet someone who loves the same things you do unless you put yourself out there. Nobody can guess your interests, but you can make them clear.
Skip people pleasing. You might think that just going with the flow and doing what someone else wants is a great way to make a friend. In fact, it’s simply being a follower. True friendship involves mutual understanding as well as give and take.
And definitely dump the frenemies. Toxic friends may sometimes keep you company, but you are a positive person who deserves to be surrounded by positive people.
2020 is going to be your year.