When we talk about investing in mental health it is a good idea to have someone who can support you on that journey. While moments of self-reflection are necessary to understand yourself better, those breakthroughs will remain stagnant without building strong connections with others. This year can be the one when you strengthen the good bonds and let go of the ones that no longer serve you. Let take a closer look at how you can build your support system.
Practice these tips, and right away, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. You do not have to bear it all on your own anymore.
1. Think Beyond People
If you aren’t at the point where you feel comfortable reaching out to people, it is OK to start small.
Invest in a home garden, or get a few houseplants. Watering a plant is a healthy metaphor for giving life to another
living being. Your plant needs you—if you aren’t there, it will wither away.
The next step up from a plant is partnering with an animal. A dog or cat will show you constant unconditional love and only request that you reciprocate. Consider an ESA registration if you need the support of your animal beyond your home. An
emotional support animal will care for you as much as you care for it.
2. Foster Your Current Relationships
Sometimes, when you are feeling a bit down, the hardest thing to do is pick up the phone and call your friend. Even when you
love the person at the other end of the line, your problems can feel like a burden.
But studies have proven friendships improve your mental health and boost your self-worth. After just a few minutes,
you will be talking freely and feeling better. When someone can listen to you, it reframes how your mind sees most situations that cause stress, and then you realize that you can overcome anything because you are stronger than you think.
Schedule a dinner, pick up the phone, or even text a friend at least once a week. You will be amazed at how much closer
you get to the people you rely on and who rely on you as well.
3. Meet New People
For some, the phrase “meet new people” is about as terrifying as it gets. But it is essential to expand your definition of self-care to include others.
Meeting new people does not mean you have to enter an unstructured environment like a bar or a gym and start
chatting with strangers. Instead, see what classes your town offers. A pottery session, knitting party, or book club
provides calm spaces to meet people with whom you will already share a common interest.
How can you expand your support system if you don’t take risks and reach out to people beyond the comfortable? You are
valuable, you are interesting, people will want to be your friend!
4. Learn to Say No
Just as you must create new ties to expand your circle, you must be willing to avoid toxic scenarios. If your family is the
most considerable stress in your life, start cutting down on engagements—give them Christmas and give yourself a
If your friends are pressuring you to go out to the club every weekend when you want to watch a nice movie or read a novel instead, do it. Learn to say no easily. You must be in charge of your own decisions, or your support system exists on rocky seas.
In the end, all we have are our connections—support the ones you have; don’t miss out on the new ones around the
corner, and don’t waste time on the failing ones.
Build a support system that can handle everything life throws at you. The stronger the system you have in place, the
better friend you can be when they need a hand from you.