Connections: Our relationships are a vital component to wellness

coffee

When I think about wellness, more comes to mind than the health of my physical body. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationships with others. Our connections with other people are so important for overall health and wellbeing. Just like we nurture our bodies with good food, we must nourish our relationships with others. When life gets busy, I often see this slip to the bottom of my “to-do” list. I become overwhelmed by everything on my plate and feel undeserving of this quality time until I complete x, y, z tasks. This attitude is so harsh, as I reflect on the past I wish I carved out the time. When I think about the people in my life; family, boyfriend, friends, colleagues and mentors, there is so much to be grateful for. All of these individuals, in one way or another, have helped me get to where I am. I contemplate how I let myself get so “busy” and suddenly months had passed without speaking to some of these very important people. How could I let this happen?! While these individuals come into my thoughts frequently, the relationship isn’t getting “nourished,” so to speak, if I am not reaching out and actually connecting on a somewhat consistent basis. Having meaningful conversations is rejuvenating and actually helps me to feel more productive as I conquer the demands of my personal and professional life. These connections inspire me with new ideas and allow me to look at tough circumstances through a clear lens. While I can’t go back in time, I can move forward, forgive myself, and focus on making time in the present and future to strengthen bonds and nourish relationships. Join me in prioritizing these important relationships in your life.

I challenge you to reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and schedule some time to reconnect!

Here are some of my favorite ways to connect with others near or far:

  • Whenever I want to catch up with friend who lives far away. I love to schedule a phone call and then lace up my shoes and go for a nice stroll as I catch up with them. I recommend using headphones as it can help to drown out noises you may encounter while you walk (traffic, wind, etc). I always feel amazing after these conversations because I get the benefit of exercise and human connection all in one!
  • My favorite coffee shop(s). I love discovering quaint little places to have coffee or tea with friends. The atmosphere in a local coffee shop is perfect for reconnecting with an old friend or meeting up with colleagues to talk about business or brainstorm ideas.
  • Wine & Skype! I swear this got me through grad school! One of my best friends from undergrad and I would schedule the occasional Friday night Skype and wine “date” during our dietetic internship year. She was in Florida and I was in North Carolina. We had such a wonderful time sharing stories about our internship and of course catching up on our personal lives. If distance is the barrier, Facetime or Skype is the next best thing.
  • Going on a hike. I feel so lucky that we have so many outside green spaces in Gainesville. I love calling a friend or family member to meet up for a hike on a local trail. Some of my favorites are San Felasco Park, Devil’s Milhopper or the La Chua trail. I also can’t wait to check out the new Depot Park!
  • Cooking a meal together or going out for a bite to eat. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise; I am a foodie after all. Checking out new restaurants or cafes for lunch, dinner, appetizers or a Sunday brunch is always a fun way to catch up with someone.

What are some of your favorite ways to spend time with those you care about?  Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!

– Claire

Connections: Our relationships are a vital component to wellness

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