HOW YOUR FRIENDS CAN HELP YOUR HEALTH

We believe wellness is so much more than just how you move; it’s how you think, eat, recover and maybe most importantly, connect. Social wellness is a measure of how we interact with others; it is defined by how we interact with and build relationships with others. In a time when social isolation is an epidemic across our communities, it’s important we find ways to be mindful and improve our relationships with those around us. Good relationships positively impact your overall wellness just as much, if not more, than good workouts and healthy eating habits do.

The key in building relationships is how they are built over time. Having a lot of friends isn’t an automatic indicator of being socially healthy. It is more important to have authentic, deep relationships and friendships. “Faking” who they are or guarding a part of themselves in another’s presence is a disservice to their self-esteem and self-respect. Becoming comfortable with yourself, both alone and in the presence of others, and staying authentic to who you are improves your self-confidence and social wellness.

In today’s busy world, it may be rare to find enough time to devote to friends, family, loved ones on top of all the demands of daily life. Take a look at your daily interactions to make the most of the everyday; smiling at a stranger on your walk to work, using commutes to catch up with family over the phone, or engaging co-workers in meaningful conversations can lead us to be more consistently happy. Be aware of your environment to look for opportunities to be happy, but also to avoid negative interactions that may hinder your social wellness.

Part of social wellness is not being social, too. Just like we support rest days from working out, we support alone time to reflect on yourself. Balance of interactions and amount of interaction is different for everyone, but authentic connection is important for everybody. Look for positive opportunities to fulfill your connection needs on a daily basis to improve your social health and overall well-being.

-Vasey Norfork

Nashville, TN

nnorfork@lifestylecommunities.com