45 Social Self-Care Examples To Create Connection

When it comes to looking after yourself have you ever thought about practicing social self-care? Most likely not. 

women friends

Social self-care isn’t the first thing people think of when it comes to self-care. However, dedicating quality time to being social in your daily life is a big contributor to your overall well-being.

What is the Meaning of Social Self-Care?

Self-care comes in all shapes and forms and also caters to different areas of your life. This includes emotional and mental self-care, intellectual self-care, physical health, spiritual self-care, and of course, social self-care.

One of the best ways to increase balance and happiness is by incorporating all of these types of self-care into your weekly routine.

Specifically for social self-care, this means spending time with people who fill you up and learning to recharge while being social. 

According to researchers Nalanda Ray and Anindita Majumdar, social self-care is defined as…

“The act of taking care of one’s own wellbeing through maintaining positive social relationships and by establishing meaningful connections and developing one’s social identity.” (source)

The Benefits of Practicing Social Self-Care

These days we are spending more and more time alone and we’re feeling socially isolated. In 2019, healthcare company Cigna surveyed over 10,000 adults in the US and found that 61 percent reported feeling lonely due to a lack of social support (up from 54 percent the previous year). 

The importance of self-care for social connections is clear – it’s imperative that we allocate more time to the people we love.

A practice of regular social self-care is important for so many reasons…

  • Helps to alleviate feelings of loneliness
  • Reduces stress levels – let’s face it, we all need someone to talk to, whether it’s to vent, talk about your day or share memories and dreams
  • Provides emotional support when times get tough
  • Gives us something to look forward to
  • Builds healthy relationships with people who matter to you

We all thrive on human connection. Yes, even for those of you who are introverts. Whether it’s chatting with your bestie on the phone every day or joining a weekly walking group, social self-care is a huge part of making sure we live a happy, balanced life.

45 Social Self-Care Examples

45 Examples of Social Self-Care

Here you’ll find various types of social self-care ideas designed to make you feel good. Let’s get into it!

1. Chat With Your Neighbours

Whenever you see a neighbour, make a point of starting a conversation. These are people you see all the time, so creating a good relationship will give you an immense amount of enjoyment – even if it’s just a ‘good morning, how are you today” chat.  

Creating community and friendship with those who live next to you is a great way to stay connected on a regular basis.

2. Get to Know People You See Regularly

Getting to know those you see on a regular basis is another great way to boost feelings of connection.

I’m referring to:

  • Your mail carrier
  • People in the dog park
  • Parents at school
  • Your kid’s baseball coach
  • The grocery store clerk
  • The barista at your local coffee shop

Because you see these individuals on a regular basis why wouldn’t you have a chat and enjoy a few moments connecting with them?

3. Call Someone You Love

A close friend, your mom, brother, uncle, or cousin. Keeping these relationships going might take a little effort but you’ll feel good knowing you did.

Note: Make sure to only chat with people who make you feel good. Remember, this is about self-care, not taking on other people’s problems. Of course, there are many situations where people you care about will share challenges, but if these are toxic individuals who only focus on the negative, be careful that they’re not sucking the life out of you.

4. Make Social Plans With A Colleague

woman having coffee on patio

Building relationships at work not only makes your workday more enjoyable but also improves working relationships.

So, invite a colleague out for a coffee to chat about the project you’re working on together, or go for lunch on a Friday with some friends in the office.

5. Join A Book Club (Or Set One Up)

Book clubs are a lot of fun – yes, even if you’re not a massive reader! Typically a book club evening includes a chat about the book with everyone sharing their opinions, but it also includes a social night to catch up and enjoy everyone’s company. 

6. Join A Community Garden

This is a great one if you want to learn more about gardening, as other people in the group will be keen to share their knowledge. Of course, community gardens are also perfect for avid gardeners.

The collaborative approach to community gardens builds a commitment to a shared passion. And let’s face it – the delicious abundance of shared produce is a huge bonus.

7. Pop By A Friends Or Family Members House

In the neighbourhood of someone you know? Give them a quick call and see if they’re up for a little visit. With our busy lives, I find these types of social gatherings are the easiest to do instead of planning something in advance.

8. Join A Dance or Fitness Class

Whether it’s circuit training, belly dancing, or pilates classes, seeing the same people every week is such a great way to practice social self-care and physical self-care. It’s fun to get to know new people, especially if they have the same interests as you.

9. Set Up An Annual Trip With Friends

Girls’ weekend, a two-family holiday – whatever it may be, this is something to look forward to every year. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Camping and hiking trip
  • Spa weekend
  • Shopping and dinner overnight trip
  • All-inclusive trip with your family friends
  • Winery tour
  • Skiing weekend
  • Sleepover with old movies (yes, this is allowed for adults too!)

10. Plan Fun Social Activities

Similar to the annual trip above this is another amazing thing to do for social self-care.

This could be:

  • Picnic in the park
  • Potluck
  • Summer party for your kid’s baseball team
  • Family reunion
  • Summer music festival
  • Garage/yard sale
  • Street party
  • Trip to the beach
  • Kayaking trip

11. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Creating close relationships can also be done with our furry friends. Look for an animal shelter in your area and see how you can help out.

I know that many shelters are looking for volunteers to walk dogs and play with cats.

12. Join a Social Group

There are loads of social groups you might not be aware of that could be in your backyard. Here’s a list to give you an idea:

  • Newcomers group – great if you’ve moved to a new town or city. Just do a local search and I bet you’ll find one. They have regular social events catering to all different types of interests
  • Gardening group
  • Local Mommy group – great for new moms
  • Historical society
  • Walking or running groups
  • Church groups – also great to meet your spiritual needs
  • Birdwatching

If you have an interest or hobby simply type in the name to see what you can find.

13. Call Someone On FaceTime

This is perfect for those friends and family who live far away from you. I just had a call with my goddaughter the other day who lives in England and I am so grateful to be able to do this. 

Technology makes social interactions so much easier, so go ahead a plan a call with someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

14. Go To A Games Night (Or Set One Up)

This is especially good for you introverts as playing games is the perfect way to get out of your comfort zone and have some fun. Grab your favourite board games and invite some friends over.

Some fun games night recommendations

15. Join a Facebook Group

Gardening, blogging, croqueting, step-parenting, fertility, sports, you name it – there is a group for everything on Facebook.

These groups are perfect to get advice, share related experiences and enjoy connecting with others who are in the same situation as well.

16. Visit A Farmer’s Market

Connecting with the people who grow your food is extremely rewarding. Ask them questions, say hi every week, and enjoy the community around you.

Many farmer’s markets will also have music, games for kids, and other fun ways to interact with the community.

17. Visit Local Festivals

I live in a city that thrives on local festivals. You’ll find them downtown as well as individual neighbourhoods.

There is so much you can do, eat, eat, and enjoy – so we what you have locally. This includes cultural festivals, music festivals, arts festivals, fashion, film and so much more.

18. Start A New Hobby With A Friend Or Family Member

The best part about this one is depending on which hobby you choose you’ll be looking after your social self-care plus another type of self-care.

For example, you might start:

  • A writing class = intellectual self-care
  • Playing music = spiritual or emotional self-care 
  • Paddleboarding = physical self-care
  • Walking = physical
  • Pottery = intellectual

19. Invite Friends Over For Dinner

friends dinner

Life moves so fast, that if we don’t make plans and put them on the calendar, they won’t happen. This includes having friends for dinner. 

Tip: Before you finish your evening plan another date for the next time you’ll get together, maybe at their place next time.

20. Do Regular Date Nights

This can be with just your other half or with another couple. We can get stuck in to-do lists and schedules so if we don’t make a point of adding date nights to these schedules it can be hard to pull off.

So prioritize your most important relationship.

21. Volunteer

Volunteering can be extremely therapeutic. Not only do you meet new people and make connections, you can also benefit from doing a good deed.

There are so many places you can volunteer, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Homeless shelters
  • Soup kitchens
  • Food banks
  • Churches
  • Kids sports teams
  • Senior living centers
  • Animal shelters
  • Local business groups

22. Become a Big Sister (Or Big Brother)

Make a difference in a young person’s life and become a big sister or big brother. You can volunteer as an individual in a 1-to-1 setting or with your partner. 

23. Work In A Cafe

We are all social beings and as someone who works from home, this is much needed. Just having that hum of other people working and chatting is a great way to get in the zone and feel like you’re part of something.

I personally become extra productive when working from a coffee shop and I used to do this when working on big projects even when I still worked in the corporate world.

25. Write A Letter

Write a letter to someone who would appreciate it. Getting a letter in the mail is a lost art, but whenever it happens, don’t you feel excited by it?! 

So, think about who might truly appreciate this. Perhaps your grandmother, an aunt, or a close friend?

26. Get Together With Old Friends

Have some friends you’ve wanted to get together with forever, but it never seems to happen? Reach out and make a plan to have a night out. This might be old school friends, old colleagues or old neighbours. 

Reminiscing about old times and catching up with what everyone is doing now is a lot of fun and also great for your emotional health.

Related: 17 Friendship Goals to Set with Good Friends

27. Do Some Physical Activities With A Friend

Getting together with someone you enjoy spending time with, plus doing some physical activities can be a lot more beneficial than going out to eat. There is so much more to do together. 

For example, you could:

  • Play tennis
  • Go kayaking
  • Play golf
  • Go biking
  • Hike
  • Workout
  • Garden together

Related: 25 Physical Self-Care Ideas To Boost Your Health

28. Chat With A Stranger

I love to do this when I’m in a coffee shop. I once had the most beautiful conversation with an elderly lady that honestly made me rethink how I live my life. 

I’m sad that I didn’t ask for her number as it was one of those conversations that made me feel so connected to her. I literally got in the car afterward and started crying happy tears. I went back to that coffee shop many times to see if I could find her, but I wasn’t lucky enough.

So, look around – there might be someone sitting next to you who would also love to chat. 

29. Take A Coffee Break At Work

Going to the kitchen and making tea or coffee is good to stretch your legs, but also to have a chat with anyone else who’s there.

When we work hard all day long, we need these little breaks to connect. It rejuvenates us and allows us to slowly create friendships.

30. Go To Group Therapy

When you’re going through a tough time, getting professional help in the form of group therapy is a great option.

Being in a group with people in a similar situations can help you feel seen and prevent you from feeling lonely. 

Sometimes we’re really hard on ourselves because of our mental health situation (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc), and hearing stories from others can help you to understand that what you’re experiencing is the illness, not you. 

I personally have gone to group therapy, which I was pretty skeptical about doing before I tried – but it was just what I needed at the time. I would do it again in a heartbeat if the need arose.

Even more social self-care examples 

31. Go to a comedy club

32. Have a monthly friends brunch or dinner

33. Set up a group cooking club (similar to a book club, but you just focus on the food!)

34. Play Self-Care BINGO with friends

35. Have a family potluck

36. Connect with loved ones on their birthday

37. Have a kitchen dance party

38. Get a mani and pedi with your sister

39. Join a dog walking group

40. Go to a concert

41. Take a cooking class

42. Share your self-care plan with a friend and be accountability partners

42. Do a book reading challenge with friends

43. Take a meditation class

44. Play with your dog, cat or other furry friend

45. Analyze your relationships – to make sure you’re spending time with positive people who make you feel good.

What’s Your Favourite Social Self-Care Activity?

Or will you try any new habits to help you focus on social self-care?

Share in the comments below.

Related Self-Care Resources:

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  1. I absolutely love this article. I appreciate all of the different types of social self-care you recommend. I’ve joined a community garden and loved numerous aspects of it including meeting new people, spending time outside as well as eating organic produce. A lot of folks complain that they don’t have enough time for self-care so I talked to the super busy people who still find time for self-care and wrote about it in my blog post which is a perfect compliment to yours! https://pantearahimian.com/the-secrets-of-people-too-busy-to-practice-self-care/

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