A lot of relationships take some time apart and to be honest with you, I really need a break. In this instance, it isn’t from my husband or my clients but from the blog.
For the month of December, I will be taking off from the weekly blog posts.
Why? I am so glad you asked.
Honestly, I really need to focus on what I want my business to look like, I want to ensure I create quality content and not just page fillers and most importantly, I want to ensure that what I create actually speaks to you and fills a need you have.
While those have always been my goals, I want that to be on the forefront of my thoughts when writing and posting. Which means I may be making some changes. In all honesty, I don’t know what the changes are or if I do change anything but taking a month off from blogging (and most likely less social media presence) is going to allow me the breathing room in my schedule to do that.
Which also means, January 1st I will be busting at the seams with excitement to bring you new content of value and relevance.
I love the new year as it brings such a great vibe of change, being intentional and an opportunity to create new routines and rhythms and I want to support you in that season of life.
So, what do I need from you? I would love to hear your thoughts on what you love about the blog and social media content and what you would like to see changed. You are who I do all of this for and I want it to meet your needs/wants in any way I can.
So, will you do me a favor?
I would love if you completed this short survey for me (click here). That would help me know exactly what you are looking for so I can better meet your needs.
Don’t want to take the survey? DM me on social media or email me at email@example.com with your ideas, thoughts and opinions.
The Social Dimension of Wellness
Any extroverts out there? Then you probably thrive in this dimension! How about my fellow introverts, how are you doing with social connection? Does even the thought seem overwhelming to you? I can relate.
The social dimension of wellness is all about connection with others. This is being intentional about pouring into friendships, scheduling outings and connecting with like-minded individuals. This involves sometimes getting out of your comfort zone to meet new people or try new things with your tribe. It also means being vulnerable and authentically connecting with others.
Let’s be real, those of us who were strong in this category were also most likely the ones that had group Zoom calls and social distanced lunches on the patio during COVID quarantine. Those of us who struggle with this dimension probably were not fazed by the social isolation until we looked up and realized we hadn’t seen anyone in a year.
I think this more than any of the other dimensions has been greatly impacted within the last few years, for everyone. Some of you realized the great community around you and how connection can be made in many ways, others struggled because you need physical connection and were not able to get it while others realized just how alone you were in your life due to your lack of social engagement.
So, now here is the real question. Based on your findings from social distancing, how can you improve (or maintain) a healthy level of social wellness?
Let’s remember, social wellness is not the frequency of social connection as much as the quality of the connection. You can be the most popular person in the world but if all of your social outlets are surface, this area of your life will probably still fall short.
Now, how do we create strong social connections?
First, we need to evaluate whether or not the people in our life are safe to share with. When we share something with them, do they keep it in confidence or go tell everyone about it 10 minutes after you leave? If it is the later, they need to remain surface level friends (or better yet, not friends). If you have someone that you feel safe with and that will keep your trust, perhaps you can start sharing with them more vulnerable parts of your life. I often recommend to clients to share something personal but not too personal. If the person demonstrates trustworthiness for that then next time we share deeper and deeper, proving they are trustworthy or getting confirmation that they are not.
We also need to create networks of people with similar interests. Maybe you are a new mom and you join a MOPS group. That was such a healing time for me to connect with other moms in similar stages of life with similar struggles. Or perhaps you join a knitting group like my mom, where she has made friendships that have lasted decades. You could join a small group at church or a hiking group on the weekends. This is a beautiful way to seek connection from people you may not have met otherwise who may be different from you but none the less you are able to accept one another wholeheartedly.
Now, I am speaking to you introverts who may be asking yourself why you need to connect with others because it seems like a lot of work that won’t be worth it.
Honestly, not all social connections are worth it which is why you need to explore which ones are. Even introverts need to feel connected, a sense of belonging and of being wanted. Those are not needs unique to extroverts. When we are connected with others, we are reminded that the world is bigger than us, we are not alone and our struggles aren’t our own. Having strong social connections allow us to lean on others when we are struggling and also be able to lift others up when they are having a hard time.
Like the song goes “Lean on me, when you are not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on. For, it won’t be long till I am gonna need, somebody to lean on”.
Okay, cheesy I know but I know you were singing along.
I want to hear from you, what are some ways you are going to enhance your social wellness? Comment below, DM me or email me and let me know!
Ready for an intellectual conversation? Okay, let’s do this!
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
What is the meaning of life?
What conspiracy theory do you think has the most truth to it?
Well, that was fun (or maybe it wasn’t, depending on your personality). While intellectual wellness may have aspects of asking deep, thought provoking questions, it is also about learning, growing and sometimes being uncomfortable with the conversation because it challenges your beliefs or ways of thinking.
My undergraduate degree is in psychology with a minor in anthropology so naturally one can assume that I enjoy learning about others, how they think, their beliefs and personalities. So for me, intellectual wellness involves learning more about other cultures, ways of behaving and thinking. I also enjoy learning about various political views and the origin of the stance.
However, am I going to have a political discussion with you? Probably not. Why, you ask? Because in many cases, people enter into those conversations with guns loaded, ready to attack any opposing thought or viewpoint. However, intellectual wellness means being able to have a conversation with someone of an opposing viewpoint from a place of curiosity and not condemnation. It means sharing your ideas, actually listening to the other person’s and accepting the differences.
Intellectual wellness also involves continued growth. Whether that is reading a book, taking a photography class or pursuing a degree, we never stop learning when our intellectual wellness is strong. It could mean having a conversation with someone different than you and genuinely being curious about their experience and beliefs.
Whatever way you choose, I hope you continue to work on this area of wellness (and the other 7). I hope you have enjoyed the last 8 weeks of discussing the 8 dimensions of wellness as much as I have and more importantly, that you take the quiz discussed a few weeks ago and implement ways to enhance each area. You are worth it!
Improving the Spiritual Dimension of Wellness
Spirituality often is abstract and difficult for people to wrap their heads around. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. To get started, first let’s debunk a couple myths about spirituality.
Myth: Spirituality and religion are the same.
Truth: spirituality and religion are not synonymous. Religion is based on an organized set of beliefs and values within a certain group, often based on a set of writings whereas spirituality is highly individualized and is about connecting with self, others and often times nature. You can have one without the other and while they may overlap, they do not have to.
Myth: Spirituality is just for yogis and hippies.
Truth: spirituality is not just for hippies and yogis. While spirituality is often associated with those two groups, spirituality if more than a ritualistic practice specific for certain groups.
Myth: Spirituality looks the same for everyone.
Truth: spirituality does not look the same for everyone. What works for your neighbor may not for you and that does not mean that one of you is more spiritual than the other.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what spirituality can look like. Remember, it is an individual practice and so what I share today you may resonate with or not, doesn’t mean one is right or wrong.
When I think of spirituality, I think of connection with myself, nature and God (yes, my religion and spirituality do overlap but yours doesn’t have to). I feel the most spiritual when I am in nature, in the pine trees, listening to the sounds around me with no technology and sipping a cup of tea. That is where I feel like I am most able to breathe, where I connect most to myself, am able to think about what I want and need and am able to slow down enough to thank God and hear what he has to say to me.
Maybe your version of spirituality looks different. Maybe you find that in a yoga class, in a group of friends or when you are walking through the grass at the park. Somewhere where you feel seen, heard and at peace with yourself.
I know people who find they are most spiritually connected when hosting a party with likeminded friends, others who feel most spiritual when alone. Either way is okay as long as it is a time when you are living out your value system and beliefs because a big part of spirituality is walking the talk and acting on what we say we believe and what is important to us.
Whatever your spiritual practice looks like, I encourage you to be intentional about connecting to that part of yourself this week. If you don’t have a spiritual practice, now is a great time to start!
Jocelyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and course creator who desires to help clients heal and grow into who God created them to be.