Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wellness Wednesday: Social & Cultural Wellness

As we continue to slug through the winter months, our wellness is increasingly important to pay conscious attention to. Many people tend to experience the “winter blues,” which can be attributed to a range of things from less sunlight and time outdoors to more sickness and time spent alone. This month, we will focus on another aspect of wellness, social and cultural wellness. This aspect of wellness is often less focused on than physical or emotional wellness, but it is no less important!

Social wellness is the ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships with the people around you.  It involves having positive relationships based on trust, respect, and understanding. Having a healthy support system of family and/or friends means always having someone to turn to during tough times. Social wellness also means feeling confident when alone or with others.

Cultural wellness means supporting cultural diversity in your community. It involves building positive relationships and interacting respectfully with people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, genders, ethnicities, abilities, and ages. It can also mean exploring your own culture and finding things you enjoy about it in order to help you feel connected to a group of people.

Social and Cultural Wellness Facts and Tips:
        People with good social networks and support systems are less susceptible to illness, can manage stress more effectively, and have higher self-esteem than those who are more isolated.
        Laughter and human touch (e.g., hugging) can improve your mood and overall health.
        Being open-minded to new experiences and cultures is important as you adjust to new surroundings or meet new people.
        In any relationship, it is important to always treat yourself and others with respect.
        Seek out opportunities and be willing to meet new people and do new things (i.e., join a club or organization, play a team sport, learn a new hobby, volunteer, or attend community events).
        Try to look at situations from multiple perspectives and resolve conflicts through compromise.
        Observing others and asking questions can help you gain a better understanding of unfamiliar cultures and customs.
        Be knowledgeable about the resources offered within the community.
        In conversation, work to listen to understand rather than listening to respond. Often, we are so focused on our rebuttal or our own story in a conversation that we miss the connection we could have made with someone.
*Tip: try summarizing what the other person said to you and reflecting how it made you feel before adding your own information. This will help the other person feel heard and be more likely to listen to your information in return.
        Learning to set healthy boundaries in our relationships can be one of the most challenging things to do, but it has a huge effect on our level of social wellness. Relationships with healthy boundaries tend to be much less draining. They fill us up and make us happier instead of frustrated and upset. Check out this article on setting boundaries for some helpful tips:

Do you have other ways you improve your social and cultural wellness? Share them with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Nicki Phillips is a counseling intern at Esprit and a graduate student at UW Oshkosh working towards a degree in clinical mental health counseling. She brings a fresh perspective to her work along with a vibrant personality. She believes everyone is inherently worthy of respect and compassion, and strives to create those qualities in her relationships with clients. She sees clients who are uninsured, underinsured, have a high deductible, or prefer to pay out-of-pocket for a reduced cost. She particularly enjoys working with adolescents and young adults, and has also worked with children (ages 5 and up) and adults. She has immediate openings for new clients! Please schedule online at She can also be reached via email at or by phone at (920) 383-1287.

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