One of the positive impacts of 2020 was the reminder that we need one another. Without regular connection with other people, we fail to thrive. Even if you’re an introvert, your innate need for human connection was challenged over the past year. So, we’re sharing some ways we can improve relational wellbeing after a year of disconnection. 

First, let’s define relational wellbeing. The University of California Davis shared this definition:

“The relationships and connections we have and how we interact with others. 

Our relationships can offer support during difficult times. It involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around you.”

As life shifted away from real life interaction to a world behind screens, it became more difficult to nurture these kinds of interactions. It was harder to offer “support during difficult times,” and “foster genuine connection with those around you.” But we can improve relational wellbeing by building “healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships” in the year ahead.

Here are some ways we can improve relational wellbeing. 

Volunteering

Connecting to your community and to others with a common mission builds stronger relational wellbeing. Serving with an organization that matters to you will build a deeper sense of self and appreciation for life. Watching the impact of your volunteer work have an effect on someone else is a great way to feel your value and feel the joy of knowing your contribution matters, which has a positive impact on your relational wellbeing. 

Know Yourself

Self-awareness is an important part of good social health. If you aren’t aware of how your actions and words are affecting others, you may be inadvertantly driving a wedge between yourself and others. Your relational wellbeing may be harmed. To improve relational wellbeing, spend some time getting to know your strengths, preferences, and core motivations. Know where you are prone to hurt others and where you can help them. While social distancing is still in effect, harness this time to improve relational wellbeing for the long term. 

Stay Positive

The premise of positive psychology is that having strong relationships with others leads to a flourishing life. By focusing on what’s right in the people around us instead of the things that bother us, we will improve relationship wellbeing naturally. When we see the good instead of the bad we begin to appreciate the parts of one another that are completely unique. We see how we complement one another instead of how we clash. This shift of perspective in how we view each other and how we choose to see life in general, is an impactful way to improve relational wellbeing and overall happiness in life. 

While our relational and social wellbeing was challenged in the past year, we have a unique opportunity to improve relational wellbeing by re-assessing what really matters to us. As we return to a life that includes more interaction with others, we can prepare to bring our best self forward for stronger relationships for a lifetime.