While the decorations and promotions may not begin for at least another month, September is the unofficial start to the holiday season - kind of like a pre-season warm up. As lazy summer days quickly turn to busy weekday routines, it's easy to relegate social activities to the back burner. The ‘have-to’s’ replace the ‘want-to’s’, and downtime with friends can feel like an unaffordable luxury.
In the spirit of the pre-season, we’re dedicating September to friends and family (spoiler alert!), because we know that even in the midst of our busy lives, it’s our community that keeps us healthy and sane. In fact, studies show that a strong network is a key factor in our happiness and healing.
Below are a few good reasons to integrate friends and family into your fall routine, and keep community a powerful force in your life.
Community provides practical support to help us achieve our goals.
Supportive relationships help us thrive. They enable us to embrace and pursue our goals, which enhance positive well-being, broaden our resource base, and foster our sense of purpose. It takes a village, not only to raise a family, but to rise up to our fullest individual potential.
We need them for emotional support during tough times.
We are social creatures, and we manage stress better when we can share our struggles with someone else. In fact, this is the most important function in relationships - to support thriving through adversity. Not only do friends provide a buffer from the negative effects of stress, they encourage us to flourish in spite of our circumstances.
Friends are the best medicine.
A study of over 300,00 people found that those with strong relationships have a 50% lower risk of mortality than those who are isolated and without social support. Through sickness and health, people with a strong network of friends and family reap these positive benefits throughout their lifetime, proving that friends are truly the best medicine. And it works in the reverse: BEING a good friend helps you stay healthy and happy, too. Simply put, if you want a long life, learning to empathize and connect is critical.
The takeaway? Take time for connection. A spa day with your best friend or partner is a perfect way to destress your body while giving your relationship an injection of love and attention.
This month, we’re celebrating friends and family from September 20-25th. Join us.