The best thing you can do for your health….Connection!
I was reminded this week of the importance of one of the key areas of health that so often gets overlooked…..
Connection; whether to friends, family, loved ones, community or your support systems.
I have been so focused these past few weeks that I hadn’t made the time to connect with those friends that have supported me through the good times and the not so good times. They have supported, encouraged, motivated me, and most importantly, kept things real for me.
This past Friday night, I had arranged a pre-Christmas catch up with some friends I worked with 12 months ago. I was excited when we arranged the catch up because I missed them, but as the week progressed, and I was getting more and more sleep deprived, with a mounting agenda for the weekend, I just wanted an early night….But I dragged myself to where we were meeting and as soon as I saw them, I relaxed into their company and had a night filled with laughs and reminiscing, but also a night of highlights and how far we had all come in the past few months and our upcoming plans, and it reminded me how grateful I was for them.
Throughout the same Friday, whilst I was in my 9am-5pm job, another friend had come over to my home to repair a hole in the wall in my spare bedroom that a flatmate had done whilst attempting a yoga headstand. She was messaging me updates throughout the day, and I was so filled with love and gratitude for her friendship, because she had no reason or need to come over to my house on her day off from her 9-5pm job, to fix it for me.
At the beginning of the same Friday, I headed to my integrative doctor for my annual check-up, plus to address some concerns around low blood pressure, to find I have adrenal fatigue. I messaged my support team, my personal trainer with the news (the lack of energy from the low blood pressure was affecting me at training), and as per one of his normal responses, it was full of support and encouragement and tips to support me.
That lead me to think of the other health professionals I have in my own life that have supported me over the years, and for the most part, gone above and beyond what they have been paid to do to support me, and it made me register, the importance of connection.
Connection to others, if not there in your life, will have an enormous impact on your health and wellbeing. If there is a lack of connection to your partner, your children, friendships, the community, or your support network, that will have a negative impact mentally and physically on your health. It increases stress in your body which has so many negative impacts for your health.
Lack of connection in our lives can also lead to depression and other mental health issues. We can be left feeling isolated and lonely, even when we are surrounded by others. I know this, because I experienced it 10 years ago, so I have first-hand experience of the damaging effects of this type of loneliness and isolation. At the peak of my corporate career in my early 30’s, I thought I had it all, but when I would get home at night and close the door, it was just me, and my two beautiful dogs. The weekends would roll around, and again, just me. There was nobody to call on to catch up for a movie, brunch or just to have a laugh. I knew I needed to change but had no idea how to. I still don’t know how I have managed to be surrounded by the beautiful people that I am today, but I do know it took time, and I know I am extremely grateful for every single one of them.
A connected relationship to your partner, your children, your friends, your loved ones, your support network, uplifts you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It lowers stress in the body overall, therefore lowering the chances for any long term damage to your health.
So today, for my amazing beautiful friends who have been there for me in the good, and the bad, the friends I have made through my studies along this journey, for my amazing long term support team, including my personal trainer, my wellness doctor, my integrative doctor who have all supported me, have kept it real for me, given me the tough love when I needed it, thank you. I will be eternally grateful for that connection. Because of that connection, I remain healthy and strong, both mentally and physically and it is what keeps me as passionate about the work I do today, as ever before.
So my aim with my clients, to have that connection, for them to have that support person on their side and to help improve their health and wellbeing. My PT became a mentor for me when I started the process of building this amazing business and coaching others earlier this year, and I expressed gratitude to him one day and his response, just pay it forward Michelle….and that is what I intend to do.