Connecting with others
“I need to be around people, even though it's not easy at times. You get out of your own head that way.”
The connections you make through relationships, places, and social activities can build a safety net for your physical and mental health. Healthy connections with family, friends, partners and co-workers are known to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and raise self-esteem.
If you are experiencing a mental health condition, you may want to avoid connecting with others. But this can make it harder to cope and recover. Connecting with your spirituality, culture, and the outdoors can also be a source of comfort and meaning if you’re facing challenges in your life.
Whether it's spending time with a friend, chatting to someone, joining a sports team, a choir or a group of like-minded people, going to a place of worship, or offering to help someone else, staying connected can help to keep you well.
Connecting with community
Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.
Communities can exist or be created from a shared location, hobbies, lived experiences and backgrounds, or a common cause. For many people, communicating with others—through online forums, social media, or in person—can help them to have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life.
Around one-third of Australian adults are not involved in any social or community groups. Having people to talk to and depend on, and making new connections through hobbies or a social group can help reduce the risk of mental health challenges.
There are many activities that can help increase your sense of belonging. Learning a language or martial art, volunteering, or joining a dancing group are a few options. As a first step, you can find out what meetups are taking place in your local centres and take it forward from there.
What should I do now?
Just like your physical health, it’s easy for your wellbeing to get knocked off balance. When that happens, it’s important to know how to spot the signs and what to do.
Take our quick quiz to find out what might help you.