Health Component: Socialising

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The Healthy Mums program introduces lessons gradually into your life to help you make changes for a healthier life.  One of the 6 health components discussed is socialising.

What do we need to be healthy?

Getting your food balance right is very important when it comes to health, but there are many other areas of life which impact on our health or are affected by our health.

Some of these areas include:

  1. EXERCISE
  2. SLEEP
  3. STRESS
  4. RELAXATION
  5. SOCIALISING (today’s topic & lesson)
  6. SEX

Here is a little bit about Socialising and why it’s such an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Socialising

It’s hard to believe that being social can improve your health, but it’s true.

WHAT DOES SOCIALISING DO FOR OUR HEALTH?
Research has shown that socialising is a very important factor in reducing stress and staying healthy.  Adequate socialising leads to better mental health and mental health is vital when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices.

Interaction with other people can help us grow to be better people as we learn from their experiences.  Having a good network of family and friends is important to avoid loneliness (which can lead to depression) and provides support during hard times.

THE NEED FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
My husband (Adrian) and I went through some years when we traveled around for his work.  Although this may sound glamorous to anyone who hasn’t experienced it, I found it quite difficult to be away from family and friends.

Our first move was to Perth, where we spent 2 years.  Adrian settled into his new job quickly, being surrounded by a lovely group of people who made him feel very welcome there.  It was, however, quite hard for me initially.  The first four weeks were spent in a hotel which made it almost impossible to meet people (who were not staff at the hotel) and make friends.  I wasn’t working and did not know anyone.  I started to become lonely and my enthusiasm for looking after myself was diminishing.   

When we moved into our own apartment, we were lucky to have great neighbours who had also recently moved to Perth.  We developed a strong friendship and made other friends too and before long, my outlook on everything improved.  Positive led to more positive and we started feeling right at home in Perth.

I tell this story to illustrate an example of the impact having or not having a suitable social life can have.

IMPACT OF A LACK OF SOCIALISING
There are many reasons why having healthy relationships with friends and loved ones can help to keep you healthy in mind and body.  Having inadequate social interaction can lead to some of the following: 

  • depression
  • alienation/loneliness
  • high stress levels
  • poor communication
  • suppressed immunity
  • low self esteem

HOW TO SOCIALISE
There are many different ways to socialise and here are some ideas that can help you to become more social:

  • join a local gym or club and meet people there
  • go for regular daily walks with a neighbour
  • meet up with family members at least once a week
  • make an effort to catch up face to face with old friends
  • start a hobby with friends or family members who share common interests
  • host a dinner party with friends or family once a month

As human beings, we have a basic need to be social and spend time around others.  The amount of quality face-to-face communication is declining in today’s world as we spend more and more time texting or using online messaging rather than having real contact with people in the real world.  We are also spending more time in the work place.  This means we have to make more of a conscious effort to spend quality time with our family and friends and to maintain healthy social networks outside of the work place.  It is important to find a balance!

TASK 15: Track your socialising
This week, take the time at the end of each day to note down in your journal the time you have spent socialising (outside of work) and how it made you feel.

This will help you to be consciously aware of how much socialising you do and the impact a social outlet has on the way you feel.  You are likely to feel happier and more relaxed when you spend some social time with friends or family, which will flow onto the rest of your life and affect the way you take care of yourself.

This task serves as a good chance for you to ask yourself whether or not you are having enough social time in your life. 

Take the time to be social and have a healthy life!

Your healthy friend,
Amanda

 


 

Some sources used in the writing of this article:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50788
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