It’s June already, and I cannot believe it! Have you started your Christmas shopping? I’m sure someone is marking off the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for me, I’ll pretend the next several months of milder weather will go slowly. We had a family emergency that took me away for ten days, so I’m valiantly trying to catch up with the overgrown flower gardens. Also, my social interaction took a hit, and while I’m more concerned about my flowers, I admit I missed socializing. But overall, it feels good to be back!

Do you miss socializing when other things get in the way? Sometimes personal health concerns keep us at bay. Other times, it may be emergencies. And sometimes, we just aren’t feeling “people-y,” and we want to be alone with our own company. How is our health affected when we dodge socializing or when we have too much? Is it possible to have a balance? What does social well-being mean to you?

Social well-being means connecting to people I care about and who care about me. It means reaching out to be sure my friends and neighbors are doing well and having the support they need. Online or in person, it means “phoning a friend” when I need extra help, joining groups with shared interests, and a great feeling of belonging to something bigger than myself. It also means having boundaries, knowing my limits, and not allowing “energy vampires, ” those who take and never give, to feed on me, especially when I’m tired.

I’m a social butterfly, although more friendly with everyone rather than having numerous friends. Being too social can affect us negatively, especially if we have an illness or are overbooked in other areas. It’s more than okay to say “no”, and remember; no is a complete sentence. We aren’t required to explain.

Being social can affect our health. Sometimes we are with people, whether in person, online, or by other means, who lift us, and other times, those who drag us down. Be aware of the difference. I make an effort to be compassionate and a good listener, but if an interaction leaves me feeling sad, tired, or otherwise emotional, I make sure I detox.

I’ll meditate, pray, sit quietly, burn dried sage, or shower. Water, whether drinking it, sitting or walking near it or bathing, is perfect for detoxing. When we don’t take the time to do this, the effects can manifest as anger, hunger, restlessness, or some other unhealthy way.

As you may guess, my favorite way to connect is to write – professionally or personally. You would also guess correctly if you think I enjoy gatherings that include food. In social media, Twitter is my home base. So if you hang out there, be sure to say hello!

What will you do today or soon to manifest the social butterfly within? Think about how your social connectedness affects your health and how you communicate with your community. Social well-being is an important part of our overall well-being.

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