Happy Social Wellness Month! One Girl wants to celebrate July’s theme with you so we can all learn how to heal ourselves, support each other, and treat ourselves at the same time. While this is central to how we engage ourselves this month, we must remember to practice self-care daily to ensure long-term results in health and happiness.
Social Wellness Month is a reminder to take care of yourself, seek social support, and promote general wellness. So often do we train ourselves to employ the “lone wolf” mentality - believing we can achieve everything alone and that all our strength lies within. Finding inner strength is an important part of self-sufficiency and one of the many ways to cope with loss, grief, or struggle. However, did you know that intense feelings of loneliness or isolation can take a toll on your health? In fact, according to the Center for Spirituality and Health (CSH) at University of Minnesota, the risks are “comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity.”
To prevent these risks, the CSH recommends nurturing your relationships. That means making educated and honest commitments. If a friend wants to go see a movie and you have a deadline for school or work, you may feel more stressed and anxious at the theatre. However, being honest with yourself and knowing that you cannot commit to the invite can help you reduce your stress levels to achieve your goals in a timely manner.
You can also make a commitment to be more positive. If you know someone going through a particularly rough patch in their lives, you may feel “secondhand stress” and a need to “fix” the situation. However, you can start small by using more positive language. You can give the person regular phone calls instead of texts to check in on how they are doing. Try some exercise, yoga, or meditation techniques to calm down.
CSH recommends growing your social network, too. This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone a bit, but can also result in a larger network of folks who support each other, care for each other, and maintain positive relationships amongst themselves. You can join your local gym, share a hobby with a group of friends, or volunteer for a cause. All of these are excellent ways to help you heal by staying active and engaged in your community.
Remember that wellness is an ongoing journey. Try not to feel as if you must be fully healed by the end of July, but set realistic goals for yourself! Check our calendar for some opportunities coming up with One Girl so we can strive towards wellness.