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Day 4 of your International Stress Awareness Week Resilience Programme

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Day Four: Create a Strong Support Network

It’s important to have people you can turn to in times of need, friends or family members you can confide in. Having caring, supportive people around you act as a safety net to your bridge in times of crisis.

While simply talking about a situation with a friend or loved one won’t make your troubles go away, it allows you to get things off your chest – and as the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. As you verbalise your troubles, you will start to release the pressure valve and starting focusing on solutions.

What kind of support network do you currently have? This can be anyone from your best friend, a family member, or a counsellor. There may be a whole group of people that support you, or just one.

Who you can turn to for the following:

  • Fun
  • Emotional support
  • An emergency
  • A confidence boost
  • A reality check
  • Practical help
  • A distraction
  • A sounding board
  • Social activities
  • Advice and guidance

A strong social support network can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times, whether you’ve had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss or chronic illness. And the lack of social support can lead to isolation and loneliness.

So how do you find these positive, supportive people? Some may be right in front of you and others you may need to seek out.

  1. Start with who you know – your own friends and family. Identify who among them are most likely to be supportive. You’ll know from past experience. Nurture those relationships and strengthen the bond by choosing to spend more time with those people. Lean on them during difficult times and celebrate successes with them.
  2. Spend time where happy, positive people hang out. Seek out clubs, networking groups, or seminars/speakers who challenge you to be at your best. Not only will the group energy uplift you, but you’re likely to meet others who are there to find inspiration and meet other happy, positive people.
  3. Do what you love. When you cultivate hobbies, inevitably you’ll meet others with similar interests. You’ll be able to bond over your shared love of sport or yoga, for instance. As an added bonus, the more time you spend doing activities you enjoy with others who feel the same way, the more fulfillment you’ll get from your life overall.

Also consider how you develop supportive social structures within your organisation – consider starting a workplace buddy system – research shows that those who have a ‘work best friend’ are significantly more resilient and in turn less likely to suffer from mental health problems.

If you would like to discuss how we can support you in creating a supportive, engaged, culture of wellbeing in your organisation get in touch to book a no-obligation consultation with one of my amazing team!

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