‘Find your tribe’, ‘have people in your corner’, ‘have a support system’. We have all heard these phrases alluding to the fact that we need people to navigate life with.

A support system can be defined as a network of people who provide an individual with assistance in different forms and aspects of their lives. These people could be your family, neighbors, clergy, friends or even acquaintances.

Adulting requires loads of support. We need an arsenal of people to go through everything that gets thrown at us on this journey. We do not choose what happens to us in this life but we can choose who to go through it with.

Here are six reasons to surround yourself with a strong support system.

We do not choose what happens to us in this life but we can choose who to go through it with.

For Practical Help. Who can you call and are certain will respond at the drop of a hat when something unexpected happens? Say a nanny has left suddenly and you need someone to leave your babies with, or it could be that you need someone to pick your kids up from school because your work day has taken a turn and you cannot make it on time. We all need practical help sometimes; it helps when we surround ourselves with people who we know can offer it when called upon.

For Emotional Support. Loss and disappointment are an inevitable part of life and we need people to encourage us and help us cope during tough times. Loss of loved ones, unemployment and rocky relationships all leave us drained emotionally and can lead to depression and anxiety. You need someone to remind you that it will not always be that way, that things will get better; or maybe someone to just sit with you in the hard, not giving solutions but simply acknowledging that things are difficult and messy. Whatever the situation, emotional support makes the burden a tad bit lighter.

For Spiritual Support. We all need someone we can call to pray with us or pray for us when words fail us, and we simply cannot pray. Someone to call you out when you are falling away and cheer you on in your walk with Christ. You need people in this journey of salvation. You cannot do it alone.

For Social Support. Life often feels like a rat race. We have 6-day work weeks that we must juggle with numerous other responsibilities. Once in a while, you need to unwind and have a good time. You need people in your life to kick back with, have a good laugh and relax with after a grueling work week or day. Who do you think of when you have a plus one to an event?

For Professional Support. A strong professional network is important to navigate your career path. Build bonds with people in your field who can help you make work-related decisions. You may be tempted to skip all professional or company events in favour of your cozy home but remember that this is where you will meet people with similar professional goals, which can help you advance your career. It also helps to have cordial relationships with your workmates, since you spend most of your waking hours at work. These are the people who will cover for you when you are in a tight fix.

For Tough Love. In life, you need people who will be honest with you even when it hurts. Are you slacking on your exercise routine? Getting complacent in your career? You need someone who will pull you back and call you out. It’s great to have people in your life who care enough to tell you when they think you are making the wrong decisions.

It takes a village to adult. But all this support will not just present itself; you have to put yourself out there. Be vulnerable enough to ask for help when you need it. Build relationships with the people you have in your corner and be receptive to both their encouragement and chastisement. Be a giver of support as well, not just the receiver. Surround yourself with people who are rooting for you and make life all the richer and easier.

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