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25 Social Self Care Ideas To Connect with Others

There is something deep down in us that longs for deep, soul-level friendship. We know that every Batman needs a Robin. Every Rachel needs a Monica. Every Lorelai needs her Suki.  

The craving for a stand-by-you friendship is wired in us. Because we were made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…”) Our craving for friendship reflects the communion of the Trinity. The community we long for is a reflection of the perfect community experienced by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

This is the one ache [the ache for friendship] that is part of [Adam’s] perfection…God made us in such a way that we cannot enjoy paradise without friends. God made us in such a way that we cannot enjoy our joy without friends. Human friends. Adam had a perfect quiet time every day, twenty-four hours, never had a dry one, and yet he needed [friends].

-Tim Keller

Modern research tells us that humans are “lonelier than ever”. Cigna Health completed a random survey of almost 3000 people and found 58% of people reported they feel alone. The survey also revealed the younger you are–the lonelier you are and the more you identify as “feeling left out”.  

Men and women are likely to experience the same level of loneliness, but 69% of mothers reported loneliness 8% higher than Fathers. 

And I’m just going to throw this in as a fun fact: the MEDIAN number of instagram followers is 193. We are more connected with more people than ever And yet 58% of us are lonely. 

So we have a soul that craves friendship and community. And a society marked by rampant loneliness. The answer is prioritizing our friendships, community, and relationships. Counselors, researchers, and psychologist call this social self care.

woman in pink top using habit tracker on her phone

What is social self care? 

Social Self Care is one of the best ways to help our mental and physical well-being. It encompasses a range of actions and relationships–from regular social interactions like attending book club or church; volunteering regularly at community gardens or an animal shelter; having monthly dinner with a social group; positive interacting with acquaintances; and maintaining close relationships with extended family, your kids, and partner. 

Remember, there are many types of self care and each of these types help contribute to our overall well-being and mental health. 


Emotional Self-Care 

Caring for your emotional health, noticing what detracts and increasing what helps you feel like the most joyful and peaceful version of yourself. 

Mental Self-Care

Managing your mental load, work-life boundaries, and finding ways to give your brain a break. 

Physical Self-Care

Attending to your physical body with rest, exercise, proper fuel, massage, reducing negative self-talk and other methods showing kindness to your physical body. 

Spiritual Self-Care

Attuning to your inner self and your spiritual needs. What does your spirit need less or more of to feel whole, peaceful, and loved. Connecting the taproot of our life deep into God’s presence and keeping company with Him in our everyday lives. 


woman praying side of bed. Her hair is curly and her skin is tan. The bed has white blankets and the rooms decor is eclectic and bright

Social Self-Care

Connecting with other people to form and maintain meaningful relationships and positive social connections. These can range from deep friendships, to sibling relationships to how we connect with the barista at our favorite coffee shop. 

Social self care is powerful and often something we tend to neglect in the busyness of daily life. It can feel vulnerable to reach out for connection. Schedules are overrun with work and kids activities. It’s challenging to practice hospitality (When will we clean? What will we cook?) and invite people over. It’s also hard to be out of our comfort zone and at someone else’s house with different rules, expectations and breakable objects. 

Benefits of Social Self Care

Spending time with others in relationships and community has clear cut benefits on many different levels. 

  • It can help you live longer. Studies of Blue Zones (sections of the world with higher than usual longevity) show that the interconnectedness of social life helps extend both the length and quality of life.  (Source.) 
  • It can also increase healthy behaviors over the course of your life. “People with strong ties tend to eat better, smoke less and be slightly more physically active” according to a 2019 CNN article
  • Bottom line: mental illness decreases and overall health increases as we have more positive social connections. 
  • Friendship is self care. Taking care of your marriage is self care. Chatting with the librarian is self care. 

Scripture Quotes About Social Self-Care

The Bible has a lot to say about our interconnectedness and how powerful relationships are for us! 

  • A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. -Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
  • Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? -Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NLT)
  • This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. -1 John 3:11 (NIV)
  • Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. -Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV) 

RELATED: 15 Bible Verses to Encourage One Another

group of men and women stand at top of hike with a sunset. Text overlay 25 examples of social self care

Examples of Social Self Care

There are many self-care strategies to help build your relationships and closeness. We see repeatedly healthy social connections build up our lives and are a proactive way to practice long term self-care and living like Jesus did–in loving community. 

Social Recreational Self-Care

1. Book Club 

Join a book club through your local library, a bookstore, an online community or start one on your own

2. Garden Club

Similar to a book club a garden or horticulture club can be a great outlet to discuss and explore gardening with like-minded folks! Or learn a lot if you’re a newbie! Look for Master Gardeners or ask around at your library or parks and recreation department to see if there are any in your area to join. Or start one of your own! 

a group of male and female adults sit on a bench in the woods holding disc golf dics

3. Join a pickleball league or tennis club

Or you can check out a golf league, running club, bowling league, disc golf or almost ANY recreational activity! Your local parks and recreation department or YMCA or fitness club may already have groups going! 

4. Meet a friend at the gym at a regular time

A great way to take care of your body, connect with a friend, and be accountable for your goals together! 

Social Spiritual Self-Care

5. Church attendance

Attending a local faith community on a weekly basis is a huge way to practice social and spiritual self care all at once! Simply attend regularly and begin to build connections. It takes time, to develop real relationships, but the people should feel welcoming and approachable right off the bat! If not, keep looking for a more warm and welcoming fit. 

Katie M. SCott, a woman in white shirt and black pants gesture to the side on a stage at a modern looking church

6. Church small group

When you’re ready to form deeper connections most churches have Sunday School classes or small groups that meet on Sunday or another weekday for deeper discussion, questions, and authentic community. 

7. Volunteer to be a mentor

Even if you don’t know everything, there is probably someone a few steps behind you who you could share your experience and lessons with. Passing on your hard won life knowledge and help to someone younger or earlier in their faith walk can be incredibly rewarding, grow your faith, and be a great social outlet that connects you with a different generation. 

small group sits around in back yard hanging out together on lawn chairs

8. Seek out a mentor for yourself

No matter how old you are there is someone who is a few steps ahead of you who would be an excellent guide, support, and friend as you walk through life. 

Positive Social Interactions

These seemingly small moments of human connection are actually a powerful tool for creating joy and community. 

9. Ask the cashier at the grocery store how their day is going and really mean it.

 I try to be the most positive person in line and often strike up encouraging and interesting conversations that I genuinely love! 

10. Use your waiter’s name. 

This small change may help them remember you and is a small way to show you care about them as a human being, not just the mechanism for you getting a hot dinner! 

neighbors talking over the fence in golden hour

11. Make small talk with your neighbors.

Strong neighbor relationships (like all relationships) take time and attention. If you don’t know where to start, start with small talk–about yard work, plants, kids, the weather. For us, we truly developed closer relationships with our neighbors during the difficult times during Covid when we were stuck at home and there really was no one else to talk to! 

12. Wave at cars and greet people when you pass them on a walk. 

I don’t live in the super-friendly south, but I always say “Hi!” or wave in acknowledgement when out on a walk. You never know when a small connection will grow into something larger. 

Developing Meaningful Connections and Friendships

13. Plan a friendship getaway

If you have a close friend or two or five go in together on an Airbnb or hotel suite together and explore a city together or just chill and relax! These kind of deeper, lengthier times together helps create deeper memories and conversations that can really take your friendships to the next level. 

14. Girls Night Out

Have a regular time when you get together with your friends just to hang out. Not being moms or spouses or chauffeurs or party-planners or working moms or teachers or whatever–just yourselves. Don’t wait to be invited–you plan the activity, set a date, and stick to your plan! Then don’t leave until you have the next girls night on the calendar! 


15. Game Nights

A game night is a fun way to connect with a new friend over a shared experience. There’s a variety of games you can play together as a group–party games, board games or card games are great choices! 

  • Code Names
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Blank Slate
  • Ticket to Ride (I love the kids version to go faster!) 

16. Invite a friend or friend family along for something mundane

Close connections don’t happen by accident! The simple act of inviting a friend to go to Costco or the park with you and your kids is a great way to be intentional about develop closer friendships by doing life together. 

family of adults and kids sit around a table eating pizza with smiles on their faces

17. Celebrate milestones with your friends

Birthdays, anniversaries, big work milestones, personal milestones (like running your first 5K or having a baby!) are a great reason to invite people to pause their busy lives and celebrate! 

18. Plan a regular Facetime with long distance friends

It’s nice when you see an old friend “like” one of your photos or comment on a recent post, but just staying social media friends isn’t enough to maintain a true friendship. Plan a monthly Facetime + bubbly night to catch up virtually. 

friendships and social self care visiting friends climbing a mountain

19. Travel to see old friends

This is one of the most life-giving things I’ve made room for in my life! Traveling to create face to face interactions and in person connections is a huge part of keeping and maintaining friendships that are strong, supportive social relationships. 

20. Take a lunch breaks with work colleagues 

This is a great way to invest in social support at work! Work can be stressful and overwhelming–a friendly face, and even better, a true friend can get you through some tough situations/bosses/coworkers at work! 

Healthy Marriage Relational Self-Care

Your marriage is one of the most important relationships with the greatest effect on your physical health, spiritual growth, emotional and mental health. Be sure to prioritize this investment in your social and overall well-being! 

date night

21. Date night

Having a date night on a regular basis is the best way to have quality time with your spouse and continue to get to know them as they grow and change! You need to keep dating, having fun, and exploring your relationship together! 


22. Be spontaneous together

I am the planner, type A person in my relationship, but so many good things happen when I say “yes!” to my husband’s spontaneous ideas! Before kids that might have been riding along to a music show or going to The Cheesecake Factory at 9:30 pm for cheesecake. As parents with young kids our spontaneity looks different–staying up to watch a movie together, taking the family to a new place to hike, or to Culver’s to get ice cream cones! 

23. Share interests and activities

While you may not LOVE everything they love, find some shared interests and hobbies you can do together and keep up even through the early years of having kids. Exploring activities together to find the thing you BOTH enjoy may make some interesting and fun dates too! 

Trunk bay overlook st John USVI

24. Getaway Together

Our 10 year anniversary trip to St. John, USVI is one of my favorite marriage memories! In between big outings like that taking a night or weekend away is huge to enjoying each other and continuing to build into your marriage! 

25. Participate in marriage counseling

From time to time you may need to sit down with a neutral third party to get advice and work through issues or attend a marriage specific retreat like Weekend to Remember with Family Life. This is a great investment in your social and relational self-care! Take the time and resources needed to create the healthiest version possible of your marriage–and you don’t have to wait to be in crisis to do it! 

Seeking to take good care of yourself socially is an important part of our overall heath and well-being–emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We aren’t meant to do life alone! Use this list of social self care ideas to kickstart your creativity and get coffee with a friends, a date night or game night on your calendar ASAP! 

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