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Create a Support System That Actually Supports You

Life is challenging. Life is even more challenging when you're forced to face it alone. Life is also more enjoyable when others are along for the ride. If you find yourself without the support system you need, it's time to create one.

The golden rule to finding the support you desire is: Find people that are like minded, and who have experience in the area you need support in. There's no sense in looking for support from people that don't share your passions or values. With that in mind, get the support you need: 1. Envision your support system. What do you need? Do you need a shoulder to cry on? Borrow $20? Are you dealing with cancer? Or do you simply need a reliable friend? Once you know what your support system looks like, you can begin building it. 2. Start close to home and branch out from there. Family and close friends are the obvious starting point for creating a support system. But you have to be willing to ask for help. It's also important to provide support when others are in need. Start with your close friends and branch out to more casual friends and coworkers. You might have a few neighbors, too. 3. Engage in your hobbies. Others that share the same interests can become new friends. You already have a lot in common! Be a good friend and you'll be able to expect the same in return. 4. Find a work mentor. This might be someone at your place of employment. It could also be someone from a different company or even someone retired. When things are tough at work, you'll have someone to rely on that's familiar with your situation. They also have your best interests at heart. 5. Find a support group. If you have a specific challenge, such as alcoholism or the death of a loved one, you can find a local support group and share your story. Those that share the same issue can be the most sympathetic. 6. Find a spiritual mentor. A spiritual mentor might be a qualified yoga teacher or the priest at your local church. It might even be an interested, fellow church member. Church is a great place to find caring, helpful people. 7. Volunteer. Your fellow volunteers are likely to be supportive of your endeavors. You'll also have the opportunity to see how great your life really is. Find an organization you believe in and provide support to others. 8. Join a club or sports team. There's nothing like the comraderie of a fellow team member. Play your favorite sport and make new friends. You can also join the chess, hiking, or knitting club. Find something you enjoy. 9. Be open. Others are much more likely to be empathetic if you're able to be open. Share your story and allow others to see that you need help. 10. Go online. You can be anonymous while getting the advice and support you require. There are an endless number of support groups and forums ready, willing, and able to help. You can even choose your own name. 11. Get professional help. There's plenty of help available. Some of it will require payment, but there are also free options out there. Talking to an expert can be of great help. Create a support system for your life. Networking isn't just for your career. The same skills are used to find those that will be supportive. Create the network you need now so it will be there to support you when you need it.

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