Let’s chat about building your network for self-care. Networking is an action we take to interact with others in order to exchange some form of information or to develop a professional or social relationship. Building on your network can have many benefits to your life from increasing your personal brand to gaining valuable business/career opportunities.
So how is building your network a form of self-care? And if it is a form of self-care, how do you actually build this into a routine?
Well, let’s explore this theory.
The importance of networking
Networking isn’t just an important part of a career or business. Networking is a process for you to build connections whether that is for professional benefit OR for social interaction.
When we build meaningful connections with like-minded people, it allows us to have more fulfilling relationships in our life. The more quality (rather than quantity) connections we have in our life, the more grateful we are.
This then creates a ripple effect. When we are grateful, we are more likely to be happy and to create positive change in our life. As Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. When we network, we find people who are more aligned to our life.
How to build your network
There are many ways you can build your network to include as part of your self-care routine. But think about the different types of networks you can have.
- Family: might not always be immediate. Do you have someone in your family who inspires you? Spend more time with them
- Friends: old friends you might not see anymore might be taking part in things similar to you! Always connect!
- Work friends: you might want to network with people within your workplace who can help you professionally and personally, could be someone in HR or marketing, for example
- Neighbours or friends of friends: do you know people doing things that inspire you within your broader network? Reach out!!
- Social media and online: you don’t just have to build a network in person! Look at Facebook groups or follow people on social media and reach out
- Local community groups: go outside the comfort zone, find a group you would like to join and meet people
There are MANY ways you can build on your network and these can ALL be part of your self-care routine (more on this soon). But if you need a general guide on networking, Deakin This has a great article to help you!
The benefits of connection and self-care for your mental health
Creating a network doesn’t just help you with your career or certain goals you might have, but it is also critical for your self-care and mental health.
As the Black Dog Institute mentions in their self-care planning guide, building connections plays a big role in a self-care routine!
When we build positive relationships in our lives, it helps us to grow and evolve our knowledge, mindset and perspective on life. As mentioned before, the more meaningful relationships you have in your life, the more grateful you are. Gratitude plays a huge role in having a good relationship with yourself and your mental health!
How to add networking into your self-care routine
So how can you add networking into your self-care routine??
Here are a few ideas:
- Attend more events! Read more articles we have done on events including: “How to make friends from attending local events” and “Why joining events and women’s groups is important“
- Spend an hour or so a week on social media connecting with like-minded people
- Read more books and gain knowledge on networking
- Start a social group or hobby that includes people you would like to connect with
- Spend more meaningful time with the people in your life
- Listen to podcasts hosted by people who inspire you
Just because you are “we are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, doesn’t mean they can’t be successful business owners you are inspired by or podcast hosts you love!
Networking is an important part of life, not just for business or a career. You can create new network groups in all aspects of your life. It comes down to identifying who you want to connect with and finding the channels you can use to build the relationships you want.
When you start building networking into your self-care routine, it makes it easier to start connecting with people who will add value to your life.
All you have to do is make a start!