by Jannel Thomas, LGMFT
April 1st, 2021
You may be asking: what is a support system and why is it important to have one? Well, a support system is a network of people who can provide you with emotional and overall support. Research has shown that having a strong support system can have many positive benefits including better physical and mental health, the reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms, and a decrease in stress. A support system is important because it can help you manage everyday stress, combat loneliness, assist with making difficult decisions, and provide hope to find solutions for problems you may be experiencing. If you struggle to understand what your support system should look like, here are a few ways to build and strengthen it:
- Identify family and friends who you can reach out to. Think about people who you love, trust, and care about as well as the people who feel the same about you. These are the friends and family who can provide you with emotional support. Feel free to send a simple text message or video call to get the conversation going.
- Connect with people who share your interests. Consider volunteering or joining a club that highlights your interests and hobbies. This can be a great way to meet and interact with people who enjoy the same likes and interests that you do. There are many virtual, online, and/or COVID-19 friendly options for you to explore.
- Find a mentor. Mentors can be helpful in significant areas of your life including religion, finances, relationships, etc. Mentors are great people who can help guide you and provide you with advice as you navigate through life. For example, contact someone who is highly experienced in your professional field or reach out to a local faith leader and ask if they have the availability to be your mentor.
Having a strong support system is extremely beneficial to your mental health and everyday life. It is important to strengthen and utilize your support system during times of crisis, like now while living in a global pandemic when it can be easy to self-isolate. So, feel free to tap into any aspect of your support system whenever you feel the need to. Chances are that you’ll feel better after doing so.