UW Combined Fund Drive

June 30, 2024

Practice social wellness this July — perfect it year-round

Multi generational women having fun together at park - Multiracial people meet and hugging each other outdoorJuly is Social Wellness Month, a time to celebrate the virtues of social support and increase national awareness surrounding the long-term benefits of social interaction.

Social wellness means nurturing your mind, body and relationships. It can be defined in many ways and encompass different qualities depending on the individual. For some, social wellness may mean cultivating relationships with themselves or with others. For others, it may entail both providing and receiving social support.

Practicing social wellness can be emotional, physical or informational. However you do it, the practice can enhance quality of life for those on both the giving and receiving ends. Developing positive social habits and a social wellness toolkit can ultimately help you stay healthier mentally, physically and emotionally.

Several studies have found that individuals with a strong social network live longer lives, cope better with stress and maintain good health. A foundational 1905 study by Dr. Joseph Pratt on the effects of support groups on tuberculosis patients established that psychological support has a profound impact on physical health and well-being.

Positive relationships with our selves and with others are vital to everyone’s lives. And there are many ways to initiate and nurture them, whether by starting a new hobby, taking a class, joining a club, starting a new routine, volunteering or spending quality time with friends and family.

If you would like to increase your social wellness, there are a million ways you can do it. Here are just a few ideas:


ReadFully Connected” by Julia Hobsbawm, “The Art of Gathering” by Priya Parker, “Belong” by Radha Agrawal and “Connected” by James H. Fowler & Nicholas A. Christakis.

Listen to NPR’s Life Kit: Health or Spotify’s The Health Code Daily podcasts.


Volunteer for a good cause. It will make you feel good and help you meet people with similar interests and passions. Explore opportunities to invest your time, energy and expertise in your local community through the UW Combined Fund Drive.

Take up a hobby. Photography, crafting, spelunking, art, dance, archery. Whatever sparks joy in you surely sparks joy in others, too. Learning something new is a great way to grow develop confidence and connect with kindred spirits.

Join a club. Your community and the UW faculty and staff community are full of informal and official interest and affinity groups formed around everything from athletics to hobbies to faith to identity. Joining is a great way to explore the facets of your identity and forge social connections.

Exercise socially, to create or strengthen personal connections while doing good things for your mind and body. Check out the many opportunities to connect with others through the joy of movement and mindfulness through The Whole U.


Get engaged in improving your community by giving to one of the UWCFD’s member organizations actively working to improve the social wellness of impacted communities:

Chad’s Legacy Project is committed to the advancement of mental health education and innovations in the evaluation and treatment of mental illness (code:

Community House Mental Health Agency provides mental health services and low-income housing to residents of King County.

Creating Healthier Communities strives to create powerful connections between American workplaces, their employees and the trusted health charities of their choice to improve the lives of people living with a disability or chronic disease.

UPOWER provides free fitness, health and wellness classes to underserved youth in King County who lack access to other organized sports and fitness opportunities.