Connecting With Others
One of the unique benefits of The Lifetonic Club is our community!
There are thousands of fitness apps out there, but very few have a strong community filled with ongoing encouragement, positivity, and support.
That’s because The Lifetonic Club was founded on connection!
There is SO much value in investing in relationships and making time for human connection. Years of research show that social connections can impact our health in several areas, including decreasing the risk for cancer, depression, and diabetes, and leading to better heart health and weight management.
In fact, in a prospective study, over 500 women with suspected heart disease were monitored for more than two years to see how their social circles affected their health. Women who reported a higher social network score routinely had lower:
- Coronary artery disease risk
- Blood sugar levels
- Rates of hypertension and diabetes
- Fat stores around their waists and hips
The women in the study who reported having smaller social circles were considered to be at increased risk of coronary artery disease and mortality.
Nurturing our social connections is so important to our overall health and well-being. That’s why this month’s Lifetonic is all about connecting with others!
Set Aside Time to Nurture Relationships
Many of us realised how much we were lacking a social connection when we all had to stay indoors and physically distance during the pandemic. We weren’t able to see loved ones for long periods of time, and we missed the everyday connections we can easily take for granted—like smiling at someone as you pass them in the street or having a brief chat with the barista at your local coffee shop.
A recent survey of 308 adult participants between ages 18 and 84 measured the effects of perceived social isolation. Respondents were asked questions related to stress, trust, and life satisfaction. Preliminary results showed that all participants experienced at least some perceived social isolation during the pandemic, with the highest levels of isolation among young adults. Researchers who performed the study found that perceived social isolation was associated with lower levels of trust and life satisfaction and higher levels of stress.
I know I experienced a feeling of social isolation and loneliness during the pandemic and with working from home now a permanent feature of everyday life, I have to say that this is something I still struggle with.
This year is the first time we’ve been able to travel properly again, and I went skiing with my partner and a small group of friends in March. We wanted to connect with others and have some fun together. It felt transformational and it reminded me of how good it is for our health to gather with friends and laugh.
Nurturing our friendships and connections with others is also a great way to intentionally slow down and relax, which is essential for a well-balanced life.
Pair Connecting with Others with Something You Enjoy
If you’re looking for some fun or creative ways to connect with others, consider one of these!
- Get outside! Go for a walk with a friend or loved one—either in-person or long-distance, over the phone—and share something about your day or even something you’re excited about in the coming week.
- Put it on the calendar. Set up a weekly date night with a significant other or close friend. Take turns picking where you meet or what you do. Surprise each other with a new activity or try to come up with a date night tradition!
- Start your day with connection. If you love a good morning routine, try adding a simple step to connect with someone important in your life each day. Send them a friendly text or voice message to let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Connect through a hobby. Join a book club or local group related to a specific hobby. Enjoying a shared activity or experience is a great way to nurture relationships and have some fun together.
- Support your community. Volunteer for a group or cause that’s important to you and where you can meet others who are like-minded. You’ll love the satisfaction of knowing you’re contributing while forming friendships with new people.
- Spread the love! It’s easy to go about our days, moving from one activity to the next without telling others how much we appreciate them. Set an intention to share your gratitude with at least one person each day.
It’s important to remember that reaching out to someone and sharing yourself with them might not always be reciprocated. But more often than not, it will be and it will be worth it!
I’d love to challenge everyone in TLC to invest in relationships in two ways this month:
- In our community: Write a post, comment on another member’s post, or find other members near you. Share a part of your journey so we can all support you (there are already some great examples of this in our Group as well)!
- In-person with others in your life: Be intentional about connecting with a friend or family member by spending time together in whatever way you can. Don’t forget to put it on the calendar!
As you go through this month and year, remember that you’re not alone. You have others you can turn to and share your journey with here in The Lifetonic Club.
I’d love to know how you’re pursuing this month’s Lifetonic to connect more with others.
Sending TLC to wherever you are in the world