Finding support even when you think you’re alone.
Find yourself a solid support network with this practical advice for finding your tribe by building your circle of trust.
Do you often feel detached and isolated? Believe it or not feeling like this is very common when you suffer from mental health issues. It can feel as though nobody has your back; there’s nobody to hold your hand and nobody to show you the way. It’s easy to think you’re alone, but in reality, you’re not.
There are often more people in your life than you think, near and far. Even people you are yet to meet – who can help.
Leap and the net will appear – John Burroughs
Establish your circles to build your solid support network
You’re more than likely familiar with the phrase, inner circle, relating to a person’s closest friends. The dictionary defines this phrase as, a small, intimate and often influential group of people. In other words, your best buddies!
No doubt you have an inner circle, maybe it’s one or two people you trust entirely, but have you ever considered looking at your extended circles for support?
Who can help you?
You’ll need a blank piece of paper for this bit! If you’re creating a mental health file, you can use this print out here.
Draw three circles on your piece of paper, one large, the second inside this but smaller and finally a smaller “inner” circle, like the image below.
In the centre circle, write the names of your closest people, your go-to friends or family members when you need help or someone to confide in.
In the second circle write down the names of more distant friends or family members you know you could ask for help or support. These could be people who you might have lost touch with over of time or because of other life commitments, but these should be people you were close to at one time.
In the outer circle write down names of people you know who are connected to your inner circle. However vague, far away or unlikely they are, write them down!
Now take a step back
Now you have the names of all the people you could potentially go to for support or help when you need it most. That is your solid support network right there!
Ask yourself these questions about the people you have written down:
- What do I see?
- How do I feel?
- What thoughts are starting to surface?
It’s easy to feel alone when you’re depressed and feeling low; I get it, it feels like there’s nobody who cares or understands. However, often the reality of the situation is there are more people surrounding you than you initially think.
You only need one or two people to go to for support you need but knowing you have a wider net is comforting too. The thing to remember is people like to help, its human nature, and even if somebody can’t help directly, they’ll likely know someone who can.
Your solid support network is out there, trust me! Sometimes it just needs us to dig a little deeper to find.
Your vibe attracts your tribe
In the past, we were limited geographically and socially, but this is where the wonder that is the internet comes in! The internet allows you to find your tribe no matter how far-flung they might be. These days you can connect with like-minded souls any day and any time.
Pssst … Join the facebook support group here!
The world is small, and you can always find friends that will come to your rescue no matter where you are.
Connecting yourself with your tribe or the people who “get it”, want to help and share the same goals is so important. Those are the people who ask, how can I help? Or What do you need?
Once you start talking and opening up to people, your troubles will feel smaller and ultimately you’ll feel better. Gather yourself a ‘dream-team’ because when everybody works together everybody wins!
How to build your solid support network
If at this point you’re still feeling isolated and alone it could be that you have to work a little bit harder to build your solid support network.
Maybe you just like the thought of finding new people who will be able to bring a fresh perspective to the table.
Below are four different types of personal support you could look into.
1. Physical –
The first thing to consider is someone who can help you maintain your physical health. Getting outside and doing a bit of exercise releases endorphins giving you an instant boost of happy!
Do you have a walking buddy, a yoga class or even someone who understands the effect of a healthy diet?
2. Emotional –
Find someone who you have in your life who is there just for you, someone who wholeheartedly supports you and is entirely on your side. This could even be a therapist or counsellor. Try to form a relationship with somebody who can meet all of your emotional needs.
It’s best not to rely too strictly on friends and family for emotional support very often they have natural biases that will creep in!
3. Spiritual –
Ask yourself what it is that soothes your soul. Do you enjoy meditating or being by the sea? Is there somebody who can help you decipher your dreams or maybe a group therapy or talking session is something you can explore.
4. Playful –
Never underestimate the power of play! Who is it that makes you giggle, smile and brings joy to your heart? Get together with these people and just let go of your insecurities be silly and have some serious belly laughs!
Bring these people closer because you know what they say laughter is always the best medicine!
If building your solid support network is all new to you
Building your network takes time and it’s not something you have to do all at once. Start anywhere but start now, choose one person to develop a close bond with, learn how you respond to their support and how you can offer your support in return.
Once you become more confident in your abilities to connect with others you can expand your network and include more people within your circles.