Ashlee Bost, marriage and family therapist associate at
Horizons outpatient clinic, explains what social wellness is and its importance in our overall health.
“Basically social wellness is the relationships you have and how
you interact within them. It also means maintaining your health both outside
of those relationships and within them as well,” Bost said.
Bost says social wellness is an important part of your overall health.
As human beings, we are social creatures. That means we crave relationships;
we do not do well in isolation.
“Research has shown that people who
do have healthy relationships and good support systems have better overall
mood, deal better with stress and actually have increased self-esteem,”
“Conversely, research shows that people who are socially isolated
have a higher rate of illness, a higher rate of chronic disease, and actually
2-3 times the death rate of people who are not socially isolated.”
According to Bost, there are lots of different ways to maintain social
wellness; one we hear a lot about right now is “self-care.”
Many people don’t realize that social wellness is a piece of self-care.
“One of those ways of self-care is seeking out positive relationships
that are reciprocal, and having healthy boundaries and good communication
within those relationships – that’s a big part of social wellness.”
Bost suggests another thing to do, which may seem like a no-brainer, is
make time for friends and family.
“The work/life balance can be difficult, and we all have busy schedules,
so sometimes we are not able to spend time with our friends and family
like we wish we could. So it’s really important to make sure you’re
Finally, she says, you can get involved with your community. That may mean
volunteering with an organization that you’re really passionate
about, or joining a church group – something like that.
“There are lots of different opportunities and resources within the
Lubbock area, it really just depends on what your interests are,”
Bost said. “So, finding out those interests then finding something
that fits is a great step. For example, if you’re into fitness,
you might join a group fitness class rather than going to the gym by yourself.
That way you’re around people, getting those endorphins going, that
type of thing.”
Bost said there are lots of different businesses that will give you a free
week or do pop-up events around town that are really fun.
“That may mean finding a hobby. Say, you’ve always been interested
in cooking. So you take a cooking class. Or you get a group of friends
together and go paint pottery or pictures.”
Bost added, you can always schedule a lunch date with a friend or make
sure you’re planning date nights with your significant other. She
says these are all things that are readily available in Lubbock.
“I think a lot of people just don’t know where to start. Try
new things. You may find something you never thought you’d enjoy!
There are lots of sites with lists and calendars of events going on in
Lubbock, and many of them are free. You don’t have to do things
that cost a lot of money.”
The most important thing to remember, she said, is that social wellness
is interconnected with your overall health.
“Your physical, social, spiritual, emotional and mental well-being are
all aspects of our overall health. Feeding and practicing that social wellness
piece can positively impact all those different areas.”