If you’re struggling with any kind of challenge, be it physical, mental or emotional; or if you’ve recently suffered a loss of some kind, you can certainly benefit from building your own support system. Many environments offer support systems; however, if you find yourself without a job or out of school because of what you’ve been going through, finding the support you need is a challenge in itself. Nevertheless, in order to improve, heal, or enjoy a better quality of life, a solid support system is a must.

Building your own support system is not as difficult as you might imagine. Here’s all you have to do:

1. Stay clear of negative people. Lose the “friends” who bring you down. These people don’t have your best interests at heart and don’t want to see you progress. The more you hang out with them, the more run down you will feel, and the harder it will be to heal, improve and move forward. How do you know if a friend is not good for you? Simple – just notice how you feel around them. If they make you feel bad about yourself, hurt you with cutting remarks, or are constantly making light of your situation, then you know you are better off without them.

2. Surround yourself with supportive people. Be around people who understand what you’re going through and who are genuinely concerned about helping you heal. These people should be easy to talk to, trustworthy, caring, reliable, and positive-minded. You know that if you need them, they will be there for you. More importantly, they hang out with you because they enjoy doing so – being around you is not something they look at as a chore or a duty, but rather, something that is important to them.

3. Find support online if you have to. Some of the more obvious supporters in your life might be your family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and even a neighbor or a medical professional you feel connected to. But don’t rule out getting support from people you don’t know, either. Facebook support groups can be especially supportive. Online friends can give comfort and support in the form of advice, opinions, companionship and mentorship. Meaningful conversations help reduce the loneliness you experience when you are sick and feeling isolated from the world.

4. Explain your situation to your support system. It’s not easy telling people how you feel, especially when struggling with a serious condition. However, the more people understand what you’re going through, the more they will be able to empathize with you; and the better they will be at giving you the support you need.

5. Be a giver and a helper. You have to give in order to get. When you aren’t giving then you most likely aren’t receiving anything. Build your support system by helping and giving to others. Try as much as possible to be there for them. You can give to others by writing to those who are suffering. Sharing a conversation is also helpful, or you can connect those wishing to converse with one another. Anyone going through a difficult time will appreciate any kindness, understanding and friendship you can offer.

6. Find an advocate. Having just one person who understands and accepts you can make all the difference because then, he or she can explain to others what you’re going through. When you’re struggling, you may need someone to speak for you so that your rights are met or your problems are solved. Advocates are people who can help you with your appointments. They can help you voice your feelings about decisions that must be made. They can help you make the best decisions concerning your life. They can help with obtaining disability benefits for you or help you with an education plan. The work can be as simple as explaining to family members what you are going through. Your support system will grow from there. As your support system expands, you will find that more people are willing to advocate on your behalf.

7. Have hope. Even if you are estranged from family or friends at the time, hope opens up doors. Hope is the force for improvement. Hope helps those who are suffering endure their plight and overcome their difficulties. Hope will open your mind to finding new opportunities, friends, and help. Keeping hope alive can help improve your situation and heal your soul. No matter how deep into the depths of despair you fall, hope is what will keep your head above water. Hope offers dreams and dreams offer life.

Building a support system around you when you are struggling can improve the quality of your life tremendously. Your support system can help you deal with the problems and challenges you face. Sharing your concerns with someone you trust eases the stress. The person you confide in may also be able to give recommendations or ideas for solving the problems you are facing. Your support system can help to increase your feelings of worth and value. Feeling valued by others improves the way you think about yourself. And a support system can decrease those lonely feelings and keep you connected.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did enjoy it, please share it with your friends and leave a comment below! I love hearing from you!
All the best,
Alanna Wong
p.s. If you haven’t read the introductory section of my book about my 13 year battle with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, you can read it here: 


  1. Sarah says:

    This is wonderful. It can be hard at times when you need it most, but it’s very important for people to be proactive in seeking support when they need it. Great post.

  2. I really enjoyed this. Being a self starter and entrepreneur you have so many emotions. Ups and downs. Lots of failure before you begin to thrive. I really do believe the only thing that helps people move past the failure into the success is the strong support group they have.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.

  3. Dan McHone says:

    Very Good Advice Alanna. Thanks for posting it!

  4. elle says:

    #5 always works for me, be a giver and a helper. When you are engaged in helping others your situation does not seem as big. There is always someone in a worse situation than you so focusing your energy on helping them brings positive juju.

  5. Hayley says:

    this is great Alanna. When others are on board with us, it makes our life so much easier!

  6. This is such important advice, Alanna. Too many people try to do “it” on their own. You listed numerous ways one can find support. People do want to support their friends. I hope people who are struggling read your advice and seek support as soon as they can.

  7. Carolan Ross says:

    Support systems are certainly crucial. Solopreneurs working from home particularly must nurture support systems. It’s a lifestyle many do not understand.

  8. I really liked your post Alanna. I have recently been thinking about my own personal need for a support system but I had not really thought about it in depth. So your post is very timely for me. I really appreciate your insight on this.:)

  9. Gorgeous post, thank you for sharing xx

  10. Hilarie says:


    You’re are so right about taking the time and making the effort to build your own support system. I especially love the advice about ditching the negative influences in one’s life. It’s a great concept and once embraced it can be surprising how much negativity we allow into our lives!

    Thanks for this!


  11. april says:

    thank you for these clear and doable steps. i can especially relate to the first one, as i am in the midst of doing something rather unconventional and receiving varied reactions (some not very supportive).

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