We all need sombodiess to lean on

How’s your overall sense of well-being?   

With everything going on in the world and my life right now, I would say that overall, mine is bouncing between a 4 to a 9 daily.

Can you take a sec to give yourself a quick ranking, on a scale of 1-10?

Physical well-being         1 ------------------------------------> 10

Economic well-being       1 ------------------------------------> 10

Social well-being             1 ------------------------------------> 10

Emotional well-being       1 ------------------------------------> 10

Psychological well-being  1 -----------------------------------> 10

Spiritual well-being           1 -----------------------------------> 10

Overall Life satisfaction    1 -----------------------------------> 10


These are unique times. Most of us have been in some level of social isolation for at least 5 weeks, due to COVID-19.  This IS impacting our overall sense of well-being.  Honestly, I find that it is not all bad.  AND, there is an abundance of research revealing that a supportive social network is essential for maintaining physical and psychological health.  Hmmmm…

Are you staying connected to the people who can offer you the emotional, instrumental, informational and/or companionship support you need for your best self during this time of physical isolation?

I'm sure you can relate, our ability to stay motivated and work towards our goals is affected when we feel "off". Besides our personal character strengths, we depend on environment strengths to support us. Our social network is a huge part of our environmental strengths.

Are you overwhelmed with how to plan your future?
Are you having trouble sticking to your exercise plans?

Are you discouraged with the state of the stock market?
Do you spend more time than usual watching other people's lives online?
Do you wonder which sources of information to rely on?
Are the people you are most connected with, the opposite of supportive?


Think about a goal you are having trouble achieving or a specific problem you are currently dealing with or an area you want to grow. Who are the somebodies that you need to connect with to support you?

I want to share 4 different types of social support.  Before I share why they are so important, I want you to consider how you will use this information.

■  You might experience gratitude.   You may become more aware of and grateful for the fact that you are rich in terms of social contacts. I want to encourage you to take some time to reflect on this experience and discuss it with people in your network.

■ This info may increase your awareness of a need to invest in more positive and supportive relationships for your well-being.  

■ Are you relying on somebody in your social support network to provide all the types of support at all times.   We need to consider taking the burden of expectation off some of the people that really offer one type of meaningful support.

Ok, let’s jump in,  I want you to identify people in your social network that you can consider as environmental strengths. These are the people who offer emotional, instrumental, informational and/or companionship support.

Let’s talk about the four types of  support.

List the names of people who can offer one or more types of support.

Emotional support

Emotional support are the people in your social network who offer empathy, concern, affection, love, trust, acceptance, intimacy, encouragement, or caring. They provide warmth and nurturance and let you know that you are valued.

  • With whom can you share your most private worries and fears?
  • With whom can you totally be yourself?
  • Who is genuinely interested in you?
  • When you feel lonely, who can you talk to?
  • Who do you feel really appreciates you as a person?
  • Who can you really count on to help you feel more relaxed when you are under pressure or tense?
  • Who will comfort you when you need it by holding you in their arms?
  • Who accepts you totally, including both your worst and your best aspects?
  • Who can you count on to listen openly and uncritically to your innermost feelings?
  • Who do you feel truly loves you deeply?
  • Who can you really count on to care about you, regardless of what is happening to you?


Informational support

Informational support are the people who provide advice, guidance, suggestions, or useful information to you. The information they provide can help you to solve your problem or reach your goal.

  • Who can you turn to for advice about handling problems?
  • Who can you turn to for advice about how to reach your current goals?
  • Who can you really count on to give you useful suggestions that help you avoid making mistakes?
  • Who may share useful insights that can help you reach your goals? This might, for example, be a person who has already reached this goal.

Instrumental support OR functional support

Instrumental support are the people who provide financial assistance, material goods, or services. This form of social support encompasses the concrete, direct ways in which these people assist you.

In order to achieve your goal or solve your problem, there may be practical things that need to be taken care of. For instance, you may need ride to the hospital or need help fixing your computer or you may need financial assistance to realize a plan.

  • Who can you turn to for help with these practical issues?
  • Consider the practical issues that you find difficult or burdensome to do yourself. Who can help you with this?

Companionship support

Companionship support are the people who give you a sense of social belonging. These people are your companions.  You engage with them in shared social activities.

  • Who do you enjoy spending time with?
  • Who are the people with whom you (regularly) go out and do things?
  • Who are the people you can have fun with?
  • Who do you share a passion or interest with?
  • Who are the people who enjoy the same things you do?
  • How can your social network may positively contribute to the problem or goal
  • Analyze a current problem/goal. Try to identify as many aspects of the problem/goal that you client feels need attention.


How are you feeling about your social networks?  Where can you identify some gaps?

What concrete steps can you take to involve these people more actively in order to deal more effectively with the problem at hand or to reach the goal?

On #tuesdaywithtammy I chatted more about the importance of these social networks. Check out the video if you want more insights. 

Your well-being is your responsibility.  Seek out the people you need. 

You are worth it.  

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