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The Power of Community - Reflect and Renew

I started writing this blog 2 weeks ago, about reflection and renewal. I believe it to be an important message at this time of year but after spending some time with a few of you at the home of the very kind and generous Tessa, this past week, I was struck by the power of our InsideOut community. You are such inspiring ladies. Getting to speak with you and hear your stories is a privilege. Let us never under value the power of community spirit. We grow and learn so much from each other. These human connections are of enormous value in our lives. So, in the spirit of gratitude, thank you, from Jason and I, for all you have been, all you are now and all we will become. Let us lift each other up always!




We are social creatures. The idea of comminities has been part of us since the begining of time. As individuals we choose to belong to comminities - some are spiritual, some are activity and sport based, some are online. Our InsideOut community is is based on the prinicples and the shared value of wellness, physical and mental.


Here are 7 Benefits from Happiness.com


  • Support and safety through a support network in which the benefits are working both way, we support others and others support us

  • Connection and belonging which adds meaning to our life. We grow and learn by connecting with others of similar interests and values

  • Influence - it is easy to get in unhealthy ruts in life, by having a community supporting us in a positive way we are far less likely to relapse and quicker to reset and get back to health. Others motivate and inspire us to do better!

  • Sharing is caring! Not only boosting our sence of self, but adds worth and value to the comminity. The more the merrier :)

  • Learning is a big part of community, it can be challenging to engage in new ideas, communities of individuals are not always homogeneous. The respect and engagement that can be found in communities can also challenge us and help us grow in knowledge and understanding of the views of others

  • Acceptance. A powerful word, but does not always means agreement. It can be a very profound experience when you feel fully accepeted within your community, dispite not having to always agree. Its builds you sence of self and self acceptance. Sometimes we will be strong and sometimes we will feel vulnerable, thats when community can help us through.

  • More connections means more chances of success. Never underestimate the power of community in achieving higher levels of personal and professional success.


Community does not always mean grand gestures, in fact I will go so far as to say it is the little things are what matter most. The kind words, the smile, the joy of laughing together. This is where we find our greatest benefits.


Some studies have linked the emotional strain of loneliness caused by social isolation with physical illness such as sleep disorders, heart disease and the increased prevelance of autoimmune disease (if you are interested, Dr Rangan Chatterjee has a podcast, free to listen on YouTube with many interesting guests exploring this and many other health issues).


For most of you reading this you will be exhausted from 2023 and so ready for a better, easier and healthier 2024. I most certainly am! Have you sat down with yourself to evaluate your best and worst choices for 2023? What have you done well and what you want to do better? I believe it is never too late to learn and "when you know better, do better" (Maya Angelou)


So before you jump into holiday season and indulge a little too much, try a few handy tips to keep yourself feeling good:

 

  • Always drink more water

  • Keep moving, take stairs, hike, beack walks, play with kids, be active with friends

  • Plan for meals better to prevent cravings and unhealthy snacking

  • Plan breaks from too many festive commitments

  • Practice mindfull consumption of all those unhealthy indulgences

  • Spend time in nature

  • Take a moment everyday to practice gratitude


Have you thought about your short- and long-term goals recently? Re-evaluating your goals from time to time, is a heathy exercise. When last have you looked back to the hopes and plans you had 5 years ago? Have you realised some of your hopes? It’s amazing how hard we are on ourselves when we think we have failed short term, but when really looking back we realise that we have done more than we hoped. Covid was almost 4 years ago. That is a lot for me to process. So much in my timeline today is either pre or post Covid as a reference point. So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.


What really matters to you? What is your priority? What worries you? These are important questions you need re-evaluate from time to time. It’s a good way to stay on track with the things that matter to you and not get distracted with everyday life.


So instead of superficial New Years resolutions that are difficult to attain, start with the little things. Start with yourself and your small communities. Offer a kind word of encouragement to someone you know is struggling, a little message or call. Start with a gratitude meditation each morning - befor you pick up your phone!


Don't wait, you can start now!



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