Everyone can benefit from a strong and dependable support network. We need a good network around us to help us carry out day-to-day tasks, give us mental support, motivate us, and simply offer a social retreat. Supportive relationships are vital for reducing stress, keeping us connected and building our self-confidence. Nobody wants to go through life alone!
Everyone’s support network looks different. Your support network might include family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours, or trusted care providers. The people in your support network should be people that you can trust, people with compassion, and people who are willing to offer you support when you need. They don’t necessarily need to be a trained carer, but they should know you well and be open to assisting you in times of need.
It’s up to you if you want to openly acknowledge to someone that they are in your support network. Sometimes, you might not need to acknowledge a long-lasting friendship because it is obvious that you are both in each other’s support network. However, in other circumstances, it might be appropriate to ask someone if they are willing to be in your support network and look out for you.
At St John’s Community Care, as providers of community care services, we know how important a support network can be for our clients. As well as offering community care services, and being supporters of clients ourselves, we encourage our clients to develop support networks that they can rely on throughout the week.
Give support and get support
If you have friends and family in your support network, you might want to also consider how you can provide support to them. Being a good friend should go both ways!
Make sure you are available and accessible to your network, so they know they can depend on you. When you know they are going through a tough time, you might consider giving them a phone call or offering to head out for a catch-up. This can build your relationship with them and show how much you care. Providing support to a friend in need can also boost your own self-confidence and keep you busy.
Growing your support network
There’s no limit to how large your support network can be. The start of a new year is a great time to consider who is in your support network, and whether you need to expand your network further.
If you don’t have many or any people in your life who you feel you can depend on, you should aim to grow your support network. Attending events, searching for local support groups, and touching base with people you know can help you develop your support network.
When meeting new people online, always be careful and take measures to ensure they are trustworthy. Always meet online friends in a public place, and don’t go alone.
You can also reach out to St John’s Community Care to enquire about our community care services. There might be events taking place in your local area, or support groups that already exist, which you may be able to join.