This week we will be doing a series called #LoveAlways where we talk about different aspects of taking care of yourself. Today is family day in Canada, so I thought it would only be right to talk about Support Systems. Remember the best thing you can do to take care of yourself is to love yourself no matter what! Enjoy! ~ Nichole
When tough times come knocking, a strong support system can be critical to help you through, whether you had a bad day, a year of loss, or you’re struggling with a chronic illness. Support Systems are made of many different groups of people. Here are five groups of people who create great support systems.
- Family Members: Family is the number one support system in my life. I cannot imagine handling a bad day without being able to call my mom. I cannot imagine life without seeing my baby sister’s smile that lightens up a bad day, or coffee dates with my other sister when life is busy.
- Neighbors: People in your neighborhood can be great support systems. Making friends in your neighborhood can create an environment for home-cooked meals and fellowship or a sense of comfort that is always close by.
- Co-workers: The people you work with see you almost every day. If a relationship is pursued, they can be a great support system because they know what your day-to-day looks like (at least within work).
- Support Groups: People in Support groups are great support systems because they are going through the same thing as you! They can offer you many different strategies and suggestions based on their personal experience.
- Healthcare Team – Your health care providers, social worker and other staff can also be great members of your support systems as well! During times of need they will have a better understanding of what you are going through and can be even more supportive!
Support systems don’t mean that you have to meet on a scheduled week to week basis. You just have to keep the relationship active! Text them to say hi, or go out for coffee every once in a while! The important thing is not to wait for someone else to make the first move! If you meet someone you think might be a good friend, pursue it!
Why are Support Systems so important?
- They help surround you with healthy people!
- They give you an opportunity to talk about what you are going through.
- They provide accountability and healthy peer pressure.
- They offer the support one needs during trying times.
Did you know that having a network of supportive relationships has a direct correlation with psychological well-being? Studies also show that having a support system can create:
- A sense of belonging: Spending time with people puts a damper on lurking loneliness.
- An increased sense of self-worth: Having people call you a friend creates the idea that you are a good person, and one worth keeping around!
- A feeling of security: It is comforting knowing that you have people to turn to when times get tough.
What are some ways to nurture good relationships for support systems?
- Stay in touch: Answer phone calls, text someone, invite people out for coffee.
- Do not Compete: Do not be upset when our friends succeed in something you are struggling with. Be happy for them instead and celebrate with them!
- Be a good listener: What is important to your friends? You may have more in common they you thought!
- Do not be an overachiever: Don’t overdo it and overwhelm your network of friends and family with tons of phone calls or emails. Be wary of “over-sharing,” especially when it comes to new or casual acquaintances.
- Appreciate your friends and family: Take the time to say thank-you and let them know how important they are to you. Be sure to be there for them when they need the support!
What are some other tips you have for nurturing good relationships? Share in the comments below!