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SUPPORT IN MIDLIFE

Going through midlife and navigating your way through transitions, support is really important. This is why it's useful to identify your relationships and identify your Network of Support.

 

If you've completed the Identifying Your Relationships activity, you have identified the people that make up your Network of Support - or a good part of it at least! Your network most probably will also include people from virtual networks.

For example, as an online student, I made friends across the world and we have supported each other via WhatsApp - we've never met, but those people have provided MASSIVE support when I was in a panic! Even though we have finished our studies, we keep in touch.

 

Your network of support spans far and wide. The thing is with the network of support is it adjusts to fit your needs. This is something you probably do without thinking about it. Every time you moved house or your kid changed team, or class, it changed and you made the transition.

There are two types of support that are highly beneficial when navigating transitions. Social Support and Emotional Support.

Social Support

The providing of assistance or comfort to other people to help them cope with a variety of problems.

 

Support comes from interpersonal relationships, family members, neighbours, support groups, religious groups and friends.

 

It has a positive effect in times of stress

(Nugent, 2013).

Emotional Support

The reassurance, encouragement and understanding we give or receive to a person. 

"Emotional support is given to us by people who understand, encourage and reassure you." (Nugent, 2013)

From the research - Emotional support from friends and family is importantly related to lower psychological distress (Horwitz, Reynolds, & Charles, 2015)

There is usually plenty of overlap between the folks who provide you with social and emotional support.

Surprised?

Think about the times you've called or texted someone when you needed help and they responded by helping you.