July means more than Independence Day and hot summer days and cool nights. It is also Social Wellness Month when we nurture our social health and concentrate on our social relationships. It means giving and receiving social support which also gives you the means to foster your own growth. Connecting with people can be a great healing mechanism, it broadens our experiences, and makes us more of an asset to ourselves, our family, and our friends. Most importantly, it enhances our quality of life and helps us to face any adversities that are bound to come our way.
Why is social wellness important? Healthy relationships are a vital component of health. The health risks from being alone or isolated in one’s life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity. Research shows that people who have a strong social network tend to live longer. The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress. Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and cardiovascular function. It also enhances the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.
If you are wondering how to grow your social network, here are some tips.
- Work out. Join one of our exercise groups, from chair yoga to gentle stretching and balance to Zumba Gold, Sonoma Hills offers a variety of different exercise formats to spark your interest. It will allow you to meet and talk with people while exercising. It is a great way to get together every week for a conversation with fellow residents.
- If you have a pet, take them for a walk with other residents that own pets. Starting a walking routine would not only give you another opportunity to be physically active, but it would also create more opportunities for you to meet your neighbors.
- Attend any of the other activities at Sonoma Hills. Jeopardy, Book Club, Bridge, and Bingo are activities that stimulate your brain as well as give you the opportunity to gather with fellow residents. What more could you ask?
- Consider your own interests and hobbies, and then pursue them. Ask around to see who else has the same interests. You’re bound to find others with similar passions.
So what does it all come down to? Four simple words: Grow your social network! You’ll achieve the vital principle of Social Wellness Month that will continue far beyond the month of July: nurturing and healing yourself. Extend outside of yourself and embrace the world!