Social support is very important to our overall health, especially when we are making a lifestyle change. Research shows that we are more resilient and better at coping with life’s ups and downs when we have a good support network around us. Getting the support that you need can help reduce the stress associated with making a change. Whether you have someone to check-in with for accountability, someone to help with specific steps that you want to take, or just someone to talk to, build up your support team!
Not sure how to get started? Follow these steps:
1. Define the help that you need. What specific areas do you need support in most?
2. Identify the best people who can give you that support and make a list. Pick people who are going to be most helpful for the specific areas where you need support.
3. Reach out and ask for the support. It may be scary, but people will not know what you need unless you ask. Be specific with what support you need, and give your support person concrete examples of how they can best support you.
4. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Some people will be great support in one area and others for another, so you will likely need different people on your list versus just one. Focus on building a network of support rather than depending on one person for everything.
5. Where can you find support? • Your doctor is a great resource, and can even direct you to additional resources. • Support can be just a phone call away! Pick up the phone and call a trusted friend or family member. • Your local community may offer a variety of programs and services for additional support.
If you are more comfortable going digital, do some online research on the Internet. Support groups online come in many forms: email list groups, newsletters, online forums, chats, blogs, and social networking sites.
Of course, we already know this because we are Sparkers!
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