Social connections are crucial for your mental health. There are lots of studies that show the impact of feeling part of a group and how this can affect your mood and help with depression and anxiety. It’s very important for any person struggling with their mental health to build those connections so they can have a support network when they need help.
Depression goes beyond just affecting your mood. It makes you not want to leave the house, sometimes not even your bed and the more you isolate yourself from people the harder it becomes to reach out and ask for help. You start ignoring phone calls, declining invitations and cancelling plans because you feel unhappy and unwanted. Your friends are going out without you and you start thinking that they don’t miss you or even care that you’re not there.
Eventually the phone stops ringing and the invites stop coming. That’s when your worst fears seem to have come true. Your friends no longer care about you. They’ve moved on and left you behind. It’s the point when the hardest thing to admit is that this is all in your head but also when you have to do just that. Your friends are not over you, they just don’t know what you’re going through. In their minds, you’re the one who stopped calling, texting and hanging out with them.
That’s why social connections are crucial to your mental health, so you never have to reach that point. As hard as it may seem, you have to reach out and send a message. Make an effort to keep your friends close to you. Things like weekly drinks with your friends are not just fun, they are a lifeline. They provide structure in your life and become something you can depend on. When everything else seems pointless, seeing your friends becomes the one thing you can look forward to every week.
Understandably, people get busy and may not always have the time to see you, which is why it’s vital to have different groups of friends in your life and make sure that you can always reach out to someone when you’re feeling down. Sports are a great to achieve that. They not only become a fixed activity that people make the time for every week but they help you feel like part of a team. You’re working together towards a common goal, becoming better or winning tournaments or something along those lines, and you start feeling like the team needs you, they depend on you and you have to get out of the house for them.
Large social groups like citysocializer can be a lifesaver when you’re struggling with mental health too. By having social events you can join every day, you know that the moment you start feeling low you can immediately go out and spend time with people who will make you feel better. It’s all about building up a support network around you and knowing that you are not alone.
It’s important to remember to be open about what you’re going through. Tell your friends you’re struggling so they know you’re not ignoring them and that if you cancel plans it’s more likely that you’re not feeling ok than that you don’t want to see them. It’s the time when the effort you have spent on your friendship pays off, when your friends come to see you and get you out of the house, or just stay in with you and watch a movie.
Sadly, if you’re struggling with mental health, chances are it’s going to be an ongoing issue. It’s paramount therefore that you use the good days to build up your social connections and support network so that it’s there for you for the bad days. You’re going to need the people who care about you around you, so keep them close, be a friend and know that it’s going to be ok.