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A Guide to Holistic Health-The Five Areas: Social

Holistic health is something many of us have heard about but aren’t always sure as to what it exactly means. Here at Selfish Darling, we have been taking you through our guide to understanding the holistic approach to health. If you haven’t read our first article, where we introduce you to the approach, check that out here, before reading on about social health.

As we first introduced there, holistic health can be broken down into five separate spheres or aspects. The idea is that when all five of these aspects are taken care of and balanced, it is only then that we are at our peak health. When one of them falls, the others do, and this is when we begin to feel unwell and unhealthy.

The five aspects are:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Social
The Social Aspect

Whilst many of these aspects seem fairly obvious to us, especially when it comes to looking after physical and mental health, the idea of social health might seem somewhat unorthodox.

As humans, we are social creatures. We form close relationships with our family and friends, our loved ones and our communities. We rely on giving, healthy relationships to keep us happy, centred and content, and loneliness can have some pretty negative effects for us.

Having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night is a very old human need.” – Margaret Mead

There are many ways we develop strong social connections. Some of us are involved in our communities or religions, which provide like-minded companionship and support, tying in our spiritual aspect as well. Whether you join local clubs or societies, from art, yoga or books, there are people out there who share your mindset or lifestyle.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of us in and out of lockdown, one of the things we most miss is personal connections. We miss seeing our family members, receiving hugs and having long chats with friends. Having sleepovers, having dinner parties, spending the night at your parents’ house. Whatever it is, replacing it with virtual communication is not as good, but still a valuable thing to do for our health.

Without social connections, we feel disconnected and alone. With them, we are supported and happy.

As women, we often rely heavily on our relationships with each other, to learn, share and support one another in every stage of life.

Women are going to form a chain, a greater sisterhood than the world has ever known.” – Nellie McClung

Boundaries

One important part of looking after our social health is knowing when to set boundaries. You can learn more at that here, but the overall gist is that it is important for us to know when to say no. We have our limits; we have our comfort levels and our personal emotional or social batteries. And there are negative social aspects, from unhealthy relationships or toxic friendships that make us feel worse. That drags down our energy and make us unhappy.

Setting boundaries and knowing when to walk away, when to find new friends or join a new community or group, is an integral part of looking after your social health. Feeling supported and connected is what is important.

The Holistic approach

So, what are ways for us to form friendships and connections and look after our social health through more holistic approaches?

  • Women’s Circles: Learn more about women’s circles here! A safe space for women to meet, share and learn together.
  • Yoga: There are hundreds of yoga classes where you can not only work on your physical and mental health but also meet other people with the same intentions or goals. Likeminded people, you can chat to and build connections with.
  • Therapy: Despite it being a very personal matter, therapy can teach us about our boundaries, how to communicate with other people our needs and wishes, and how to respond to other peoples. It is an essential part of understanding ourselves, that can help us to build stronger relationships through all the areas of our life.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” – Carl Gustav Jung

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