The ability to form relationships is part of what makes us human. Positive social interactions make us feel happy, connected and secure. Building meaningful relationships with family/whānau, friends and the community goes a long way to increasing your sense of belonging and strengthening personal wellbeing. Through sharing experiences, you can discover how you can help others. It also means that during times of distress you have the support you need to get through.
Connect with people who make you feel valued. This might include your whānau/family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Here are some examples:
- Smile at someone else.
- Take the time to find out something you didn’t know about someone you know.
- Contact a friend you have not seen or spoken to for a while.
- Reach out to someone who may be lonely and invite them to spend time with you.
- Connect with someone you’ve lost touch with on social media and share a happy memory you have of them.
- Introduce yourself to a new parent or family at your child’s school.
- Eat dinner with the whānau. Play a game of ‘table talk’ where each person reports about their day’s events including the best thing that happened, the funniest thing and anything they didn’t enjoy.
- Take time to read your local newspaper or newsletter – find out what’s going on in your area.
- Host a potluck catch up or BBQ with neighbours, friends or whānau.
- Join a group: it could be your local sports team, book club, choir - whatever interests you most!
- Organise a baby photo competition with friends or colleagues – match the person to the baby!
- Connect with the whenua; grab some mates and get into the great outdoors - go on a bush walk, go surfing or mountain bike riding.
- Have a family WIFI, TV and text free day and bring out the old board games.