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Building and Maintaining Social Supports

Building and Maintaining Social Supports

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your social supports can play a crucial role in helping you cope with stress and improving your mental and physical health. By social supports, we mean the people, activities, and groups that give you encouragement and enhance your life. Here are some things you can do to build, develop, and maintain your social supports:

  1. Consider important connections in your life. Think about your family and friends.  If you have neglected some loved ones due to work demands or life stress, reach out and reestablish contact. Decide how you can revive valued relationships that may have weakened with time or during the pandemic.
  2. Connect with someone from your social support network. Pick up the phone or send an email. Set a goal to maintain contact with your loved ones.
  3. Provide support to others and ask for help. Show your willingness to support others and reach out to your network for help when you need it.
  4. Learn something new. Learning something new can be a valuable way to connect with others who share your interests. Take a virtual course, search online message boards for people who share your new interest, or reach out to friends with similar hobbies who might help teach you.
  5. Engage in structured physical activity. Regular participation in yoga or another socially-distanced exercise program can help you maintain your physical health while developing contacts with people who share your interests.

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is Here to Help

If you want help with building and maintaining your social support network, your Component EAP is a good place to start. Your EAP provides confidential counseling and can help you set personal goals to improve your personal relationships and develop an action plan for achieving your relationship goals. Your EAP is available to you and your family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, contact the DHS Worklife Team at worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

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