Lately I’ve been pondering the multiple layers of health. From what we eat to how we think and who we spend time with, our whole lifestyle plays a role in our ability to feel well. In today’s blog post I’m looking at how our social connections influence the perception we have of our own lives, and why acknowledging struggles helps us endure. At the end of this short post I’ve shared a simple healthy evening routine that will help you make great progress on the lifestyle goals that you’re currently working on.
Since moving to America in 2011 I’ve been rather forward about making friends. As an introvert, a bookworm, and someone who likes to be in her pajamas at 6pm, this has been quite the turn around for me.
Here’s how it usually plays out:
- I meet a woman at a gathering, a fitness studio or through a mutual connection
- I ask her out for a tea or a walk*
- We suss each other out and see if we want to talk about the possibility of friendship
*I tend to choose activities that are fairly noncommittal for the first “date”. Lunch or dinner add a certain amount of pressure…it’s a long time to make chit-chat with a stranger and there’s the chance that you’ll end up smiling with lettuce in your teeth.
Some of these dates have turned into life-long friendships, while others can be simply chalked up to “experience”.
This is fine by me. As someone who would rather go deep with one person than have shallow connections with 100, I’m perfectly happy with just a handful of close friends.
But what I’ve learnt, in becoming a serial friend-dater, is that many people have a hard time going deep, getting real, and being open and vulnerable to someone else. I’ve noticed this in real life as well as online, where presenting an idealized version of yourself to the world is more important than being authentic.
In the past year alone I’ve gone on several coffee dates with women in my industry who, after introducing themselves, proceeded to spend five full minutes taking photos of their turmeric latte from several different angles to post on social media. Later that day these photos would pop into my Instagram feed with the caption: “SO much fun getting to know the lovely Jennifer Dene today.” But really, how well could they know me after 45 minutes of surface-level conversation?
This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy networking or meeting new people…in fact, I love it. But I do feel that too many women spend too much time crafting the perfect version of themselves for public consumption, without giving enough attention to their private struggles.
Nowhere is it more important to be honest and open than on the topic of our physical, emotional and mental health. Knowing where we want to improve, or when we need to ask for help, is a crucial component of our well being. So it’s time to get raw and real, and stop comparing your inside to someone else’s outside.
Today’s simple exercise will help you appreciate what you have, reflect on where you’re struggling, and make progress towards where you want to be. So grab a pen and let’s do it to it.
A Healthy Evening Routine
Every evening answer the following questions:
- What is one thing that I am grateful for from today?
- What are two things that I struggled with today?
- What are three possible solutions that I can think of, that will help me overcome those struggles in the future?
- Who can I turn to and ask for help, support or companionship, should I need it?
This exercise is simple and profound, so I hope you’ll give it a go.
And then let me know what you think of today’s topic by leaving a comment below.
P.S. You might also like to read my morning routine post here.