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Social Support in Recovery

A strong social support network can help you build resilience in recovery. Take time to assess your social support network and strengthen it if necessary.

The Role of Social Support in Recovery

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Estimated watch time: 2 mins 44 secs

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Social Support

We all need other people. We feel better when we have people we know we can count on in difficult times. And we feel better when we are giving to others in their time of need. Forming friendships and supportive relationships will help us build our resiliency.

It’s important that we have people to reach out to when we need assistance. We often wait for others to reach out to us but it is imperative we learn to reach out to others and important to learn to ask for help. The more socially isolated we are, the more likely we will suffer from stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Isolation impacts our mental wellness and our physical wellness. People who are more isolated may shorten their life expectancy as much as people who are obese, smoke or have hypertension. Giving social support can be as helpful to us as receiving social support. We can build strong relationships in both directions.

To evaluate your social network, you can ask yourself:

  • Who can I count on to help me if I have just been fired from my job?
  • Who would help me if a close family member died?
  • Who helps me feel better when I am feeling down?
  •  Who do I turn to for advice?

If you do not have people to turn to at times like these, you will need to work on building your social support network. If you do not have enough people for these types of moments, you would need to enhance your network.

Here are some ways to build your network:

  • Smile and say hello to your neighbors.
  • Smile and say hello to fellow co-workers you do not speak to often.
  • Call a friend or family member to say hello.
  • Have coffee with a friend or schoolmate you know is having a tough time.
  • Take a class.
  • Join a group of people who like to do similar activities (www.meetups.com is a great place to find people in your area with similar interests).
  • Find a place to do volunteer work.

Summary:

Having a strong social support network is an integral part of building resiliency. This video guide asks you to explore who you would turn to in times of need and how you can strengthen your support network if necessary.

Video Materials:

Social Support

We all need other people. We feel better when we have people we know we can count on in difficult times. And we feel better when we are giving to others in their time of need. Forming friendships and supportive relationships will help us build our resiliency.

It’s important that we have people to reach out to when we need assistance. We often wait for others to reach out to us but it is imperative we learn to reach out to others and important to learn to ask for help. The more socially isolated we are, the more likely we will suffer from stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Isolation impacts our mental wellness and our physical wellness. People who are more isolated may shorten their life expectancy as much as people who are obese, smoke or have hypertension. Giving social support can be as helpful to us as receiving social support. We can build strong relationships in both directions.

To evaluate your social network, you can ask yourself:

  • Who can I count on to help me if I have just been fired from my job?
  • Who would help me if a close family member died?
  • Who helps me feel better when I am feeling down?
  •  Who do I turn to for advice?

If you do not have people to turn to at times like these, you will need to work on building your social support network. If you do not have enough people for these types of moments, you would need to enhance your network.

Here are some ways to build your network:

  • Smile and say hello to your neighbors.
  • Smile and say hello to fellow co-workers you do not speak to often.
  • Call a friend or family member to say hello.
  • Have coffee with a friend or schoolmate you know is having a tough time.
  • Take a class.
  • Join a group of people who like to do similar activities (www.meetups.com is a great place to find people in your area with similar interests).
  • Find a place to do volunteer work.

Other Addiction & Mental Health Resources

The Recovery Village has several, free resources for those living with addiction or mental health conditions and their loved ones. From videos, to clinically-hosted webinars and recovery meetings, to helpful, medically-reviewed articles, there is something for everyone. If you need more direct help, please reach out to one of our representatives.

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