I’m excited to share my experiences and thoughts on Social Health for week four of the Balance Challenge! Social wellness involves your ability to form relationships with others, which can include your spouse or significant other, family members, friends, coworkers or just people you run into during your day-to-day routine! Surrounding yourself with a positive social network increases your self-esteem and can influence healthy habits!
Social Health is a universal struggle: we all want to be accepted, no matter what stage of life we’re in or type of personality we have. Being “healthy” doesn’t just encompass physical and mental wellbeing. Social interaction and relationships are a huge part of health, too! Below are some truths that I’ve found to strengthen my social wellbeing and I hope you find them helpful!
Give yourself some grace and take a breather.
Take some time alone, and evaluate your social life. Think about which relationships or which parts of your relationships you enjoy, and consider what circumstances allow you to be comfortable in social situations. Identify what you bring to your relationships and how you benefit those around you. Obviously this is easier said than done, but you need to love on yourself and stay true to who you are - you shouldn’t force interactions that don’t breathe life into you socially, and you need to appreciate your strengths. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to never compare your weaknesses to someone else’s strengths - it’s just not fair! I love that our mantra at True40 is “Be True, Be You,” because everyone has something unique and beneficial to offer our community. Sacrificing who you truly are can make your relationships less satisfying, while acting like your true self will strengthen your connections.
Find a physical outlet that you enjoy that involves good company. As a working mom, I find myself getting into the routine of going to work and back, without finding any time in between to have fun. I make excuses that I’m too tired or that my daughter’s schedule gets in the way. When I go down this rabbit hole, my tendency is to retract from friends and family, and to internalize all my self doubt. I’ve come to realize that there’s so much freedom in sharing your struggles and your triumphs with people you trust, and you’ll often find that you’re not alone. It’s important to step away from being a “mom” or an “employee”, and to just be you! Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother and my daughter Charlotte is just the cutest, but it’s also good to spend time with friends or alone with your spouse. This can mean finding a friend to grab lunch with, going to a concert, or to coming to a True40 class. ;) Learn to accept invitations to dinners and parties, and appreciate when others think of you.
Learn to listen and be gracious to others.
All good relationships need listening on both sides. If you listen to others’ needs, your own needs will be met. I’ve also learned how to be a gracious friend to those who cancel on you, or when you feel one-sided in the relationship. To be honest, more often than not I’ve been that bad friend that needed grace when I didn’t feel like I deserved it. You never know what others are going through and sometimes all it takes is a quick text to remind someone that you are thinking of them!
I am one of the worst at texting or calling people back (not something I’m proud of!) I convince myself I’m too busy or too tired, and mindlessly forget to respond to people. My good friend Kaitlyn Bentley (you all know her and love her) reached out to me last year and told me she was praying for someone different each week asked what she could specifically be praying for me. Wow did that impact me! I’ve been inspired to try and do the same thing this year, and so far it’s made me realize how much I think about myself and not others. Most people ask in return what they also can be praying for you! We are social creatures and when we interact with others, we start to care for them and in return are cared for.
Have a healthy relationship with social media.
FOMO is real y’all. When I look at all the other “super-moms” on Instagram who do it all and still hang out with each other I want to cry sometimes! Social media is pegged for bringing negative energy into your life, but instead of doing away with it, why don’t we decide to make it positive? Use Instagram to build relationships instead of boasting about the good in your life. Look at your friend’s posts and be genuinely happy for them. Maybe let them inspire you to reach your own goals, instead of feeling bad about yourself. As silly as it sounds, I’ve been making more of an effort to leave comments on posts because it means a lot to me when people comment on mine! At the same time, consider before posting if what you are about to send into the world is spreading positivity.
I’d love to hear from you on what helps you with social health! Most importantly, find a healthy balance between when you need alone time and when you need friends. Listen to your body and give it what it needs!
Kristin Taylor, True40 Business Manager and Auburn Studio Manager