Grow Your Social Support Network | Rocky Mountain Health Blog

Grow Your Social Support Network | Rocky Mountain Health Blog

By RMHP

H2: Eight Ways to Nurture Your Social Network and Make Friends as an Adult

Relationships are a vital part of the human experience. Healthy relationships can even help reduce stress and help us live longer.

As we get older, however, it can sometimes become difficult to make new friends and maintain a thriving social support network. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in life’s daily responsibilities, but the following eight tips for how to make new friends and nurture existing relationships will help you build a social support network that can withstand time.

1. Make an effort to meet new people often

While quality is more important than quantity in relationships, it’s still helpful to cast your net far and wide when it comes to meeting new people.

There are endless ways to meet new potential friends. Start by thinking about a hobby or interest you have, then find a group to enjoy it with. You could become a regular at a group exercise class at your gym or try something completely new, like a dance class.

2. Volunteer in your community

Volunteering in your community is a great way to give back and make new friends. Residents of Colorado’s Grand Valley and Western Slope who would like to learn more about volunteering throughout our communities can find a list of opportunities here.

3. Revisit your time management skills to make more time for relationships

You might feel like there’s no time for socializing, but time management can help you find more time in a busy day. If you’re not already doing so, try adding these time management strategies to your routine:

  • Identify your biggest priorities and schedule the week accordingly
  • Avoid overscheduling yourself by saying no
  • If time always seems to pass too quickly, track your time to see how long things take
  • Overestimate how long something will take — it will save you from feeling rushed

5. Make social plans as often as you can

When we don’t spend time with our friends and loved ones, the relationship can weaken. Fortunately, when our time is managed well, we have more freedom to spend time with people we care about.

6. During conversations, remember to listen

Having a sincere interest in someone else’s life can deepen the relationship. When you talk to someone, be sure to ask the other person questions — and truly listen to the answers.

7. When you spend time with people, pay attention to how they make you feel

We aren’t meant to be friends with everyone we meet, and that’s okay. Aim to fill your social circle with people who share common interests and inspire you to feel good about yourself. If someone drains your energy or doesn’t support you, maybe they aren’t a good fit for your social support network.

8. Stay in contact with your social circle

Growing a social support network isn’t just about making new friends — nurturing existing relationships is equally important. Spending time together in-person is always ideal, but technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with people all over the world.

Once you’ve worked to cultivate a supportive circle of friends, it will have a lasting impact on how you navigate life and cope with stress.

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