How-To Build & Maintain A Healthy And Strong Support System
We all have, at one time or another, have heard the term “support system” but do we know what a support system is? Or how do you build a support system? Or why is a support system important?
When it comes to finding a support system, we often reach out to our closest friends or family members for support. Friendships are an important part of our wellbeing but sometimes what we need is something more than friendly support. Having a strong support system is important not only for our mental health but also for our emotional and social health.
Also Read: Friendships: How They Enhance Your Life & Improve Your Health
Let’s start by understanding what is a support system and how to build a support system.
Support System: What Is It?
“A support system is a network made up of people who provide help and support when you need it.”
This network of people is there for you when you’re going through tough times. They stand by you without judgment and provide a feeling of security and genuine support. The purpose of a support system is to help you achieve your goals and aid you in your mental wellness.
This network can be made up of your close friends, family members, or acquaintances. Sometimes you can include people from your community in your support system. Any social connection of yours that leaves a positive impact on your life can be counted as your support.
Having a strong support system is important not only to your happiness or self-esteem but also for your emotional health.
Also Read: The Role of Social Support for Health and Wellbeing
How To Build A Support System?
Building a support system is not that challenging or difficult. You can build a support system by:
1. Reaching Out To Your Family & Friends
Your support system can include your family and close friends. Simply reaching out to them when you need a safety net to fall back on can help. Talk to them or share your problems with them and ask for their advice and help. Don’t pressure them into being your support system though. Maintain a natural flow of conversation with them.
2. Meeting New People
Meeting new people and trusting them to be in your support system takes time and can be challenging. The more people you have in your social support network, the more chances you have to improve your social wellness. Volunteer, join a club or go to meet-ups to connect with people who share similar interests as you.
3. Connecting With A Support Group
If you don’t know whom to include in your support system, then the best way is to reach out to a support group. There are many support groups available online and offline for people struggling with various mental health concerns. One of the easiest ways to build a support system is to connect with others struggling with problems similar to yours.
Support groups to connect with:
- Best Online Transgender Support Groups of 2021
- The Best Online Grief Support Groups Of 2021 | Ask For Help
- 5 Best Depression Support Groups In 2021
- Eating Disorder Online Support Groups and Where to find them
- Best Online Bipolar Disorder Support Groups
- Top Free Online Anxiety Support Groups to Join in 2021
- Best Online Divorce Support Groups to Approach
4. Asking For Professional Help
Reach out to your mental healthcare provider or a professional counselor. No one said that your counselor or your therapist cannot be your support system. After all, they are there to provide help and support to you when you need it, right?
You can also reach out to your community and ask for a counselor for help.
Also Read: What Is Supportive Therapy & How Does It Work?
The support system is about connecting with people with whom you’re comfortable opening up. With whom you are comfortable sharing your problems. It is about forming a healthy network that will support you and help you no matter what. They are and should be your safe and non-judgmental space where you can open up and speak your mind.
Why Is A Support System Important?
When you have a strong support system, you benefit a lot. Having a support system is important as it can help you with:
- Improving your social wellness
- Improving your ability to manage stress
- Promoting mental and emotional wellness
- Improving physical health
- Improving self-esteem
- Promoting healthy coping
- Improving lifestyle
Who Should You Include In Your Support System & Who You Shouldn’t?
A support system is made up of people who support you no matter what and that list can include people regardless of their gender, sex, identity, age, religion, etc.
Your support system can include:
- Close relatives
- Siblings or cousins
- Grandparents or aunts and uncles
- Your life coach
- Volunteers at your community
Your support system should not include:
- People who’ve been unsupportive of you in the past
- People who’ve lied to you
- People who can’t seem to care about your problems
- Manipulative people
- People who are struggling with substance abuse or addiction
- People who are negative and toxic
Also Read: Stay Away From These Types of Toxic People
How To Maintain A Support System?
Any relationship is a two-way street and this includes your support network. To maintain a healthy and strong support network, you need to:
1. Stay Connected. Stay and maintain touch with your support network. Call, text, write emails. Do not lose touch with them. They are there for you and you need to be there for them as well.
2. Be A Good Listener. As I said, it’s a two-way street. When your friends are talking – you listen. But be careful not to overwhelm them or yourself. Advise them only when they ask for it.
3. Express Gratitude. Take time to express your gratitude to them. Let them know how grateful you are to have them as your support system. How important is it to you that they are there for you
4. Give Back. Reciprocate what you receive. Be there for your support system when they need you. Volunteer and give back to your community what you gain.
Your support system is there to support you when you require it the most. If you find that your support system is failing you and is leaving you emotionally drained rather than healthy, it is time to reconsider their support.
Take time to build a support system. A support system is important to keep your mental, emotional, and social well-being. It’s a two-way street – what you receive, you should learn to give back as well. Those who support you might need your support as well.
“Everyone needs a support system, be it family, friends, coworkers, therapists, or religious leaders. We cannot do life alone and expect to keep mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Everyone needs some sort of support system on which to rely.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
You can always reach us for support and help. Connect with us on our social media platforms or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, you are not alone.