“What makes up a support system, and do I really need one?” are questions I’m often asked by clients. I thought it might be helpful for everyone out there if I used a blog post to address the topic.
What is a support system?
A support system is simply the people who surround you and give positive support and encouragement. They can be family, friends, co-workers, mentors, workout partners, spouses, your therapist, Bible study buddies– even pets! The important thing is that these are individuals you can be open and honest with about what’s going on in your life. They provide you with feedback on difficult situations you might experience, a shoulder to cry on when needed, and a different perspective when you need to see things from another angle. These are people who genuinely care about you and your best interests. Sometimes that means pointing out when you’re making poor choices or falling back into bad habits, but they do so out of sincerity and a true interest in helping you be the best person you can possibly be.
So who needs a support system?
We all do! And it’s not reserved for those in unhealthy relationships or struggle with mental health issues because– honestly, the vast majority of us fall into both of those categories at times throughout our lives! Everyone needs a trusted friend, a confidante, someone to bounce ideas off of and vent our problems to. For some people that means a circle of dozens of friends and family. For others, it’s a handful of really close individuals. And, as life changes, so do the people in our support system.
So who is in your system?
Spend a moment thinking about who’s in your support system right now. Are you satisfied with it? Does it need improving? Are there areas in which you need more/less support at this point in your life? And if there’s an area that needs addressing, or you realize you need to add a few people– think about ways you can go about doing that. Maybe you can reconnect with an old friend, or join a new group nearby that shares common interests (e.g., book club, a Meetup group, volunteer organization). Because a healthy support system means better mental health! And we could all use better mental health sometimes.
Can you relate to any of this? If you’re thinking that adding a therapist might be beneficial to your support system, please consider calling me to see if music therapy could help! I’m always happy to answer questions.