As humans, we are deeply social creatures. Feeling—and more importantly, being—connected is essential to our health. Here at Camille Styles, togetherness is rooted in our ethos. We love any excuse to connect. Be it throwing an intimate dinner party, grabbing a cup of coffee with a girlfriend, or taking a group fitness class (in hopes of meeting a new workout buddy!), there are endless ways to connect in-person. And while it may seem like you’re up-to-date on your friends’ lives, there’s much more than meets the digital eye. In the spirit of prioritizing your wellness this season, don’t forget about another facet of your winter well being: your social health.
Today, we’re breaking down all things social health—why we need to socialize, our favorite wintertime activities, and a few mantras for sticking to your social commitments.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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Why is it important to support your social health?
For many reasons! Among them, people who have healthy relationships tend to live longer and respond better to stress. In fact, a strong social network has been shown to help fight the common cold, increase chances of survival after a heart attack, and aid in balanced hormones. In other words, quality social relationships are correlated to our overall mental and physical health. Our self-confidence gets a boost, too! Positive self-esteem may be one influential friendship away.
Post-Holiday (Social) Hangover
This time of year, social events are a dime a dozen: white elephant parties, cookie exchanges, office holiday parties, etc. But, that post-holiday hangover is real. And when it comes to social health, January is often synonymous with doing less, isolating more, and generally feeling unmotivated. Therefore, how can you support your social health during the slower winter months? How can you find the motivation to socialize come January, February, and March?
10 Ways To Support Your Winter Well Being
Whether you lean extrovert, introvert, or somewhere in the middle (ahem, most of us!), there are a variety of supportive ways to stay social in the winter. Below are a few of our favorite ways to stay social while still honoring your necessary recharge time.
1. Go Outside
One of the most helpful mentalities to adopt in the winter: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. Even if the temps are low, fresh air does wonders for our serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. All of these impact our sleep, mood, energy, and motivation. Time in nature is truly healing. Rather than walk and listen to a podcast, text a friend who lives nearby to see if you can walk together. Regardless, plan your social event outside. Given the more limited sunshine in January, February, and March, maybe opt for a lunchtime walk. You’ll both be grateful for time away from your desks.
2. Plan A Bookstore Date
Whether it’s a friend from your local bookclub or your sister mentioned she’s wanting to read more books in 2023, plan a bookstore date! You can totally browse the shelves with your significant other, too. Regardless, books always spark endless conversation and inspiration. Plus, nothing says cozy quite like your local, independent bookstore. Buy a book or two, hop over to your favorite coffee shop, and enjoy each other’s company—while starting your next reading adventure.
3. Chef It Up
There are a myriad of ways to go about this, so take your pick. Text a friend and ask when they’re available for brunch or dinner—they choose! Once that’s decided, flip through your favorite cookbook, and choose a recipe. Shop for the ingredients and when your friend arrives, cook together. Turn on music, have coffee, wine, or kombucha for sipping, and enjoy the process of cooking together! Alternatively, ask that friend to come over for dinner and bring 2-3 ingredients without telling you what they are. Once they arrives, scrounge up a few of your own ingredients for a make-shift dinner. For two foodies, this is a fun and creative way to mind-meld!
4. Take A Painting Course
What better way to tap into your artistic abilities, try something new, and get out of your comfort zone this winter? Tap one of your creative friends to see if they’re interested in taking a painting course with you. There are many to choose from, but we love Jenna Rainey’s beginner-friendly painting courses. Start the course at your house then bop to your friend’s house. Bonus points if you make this a bi-monthly get-together—hors d’oeuvres, included!
5. Spend An Evening Making Candles
Calling all candle lovers—this one’s for you: throw a candle-making party! Trust us, this kind of get-together is the gift that keeps on giving. For a tutorial, this is the best beginner’s guide to making homemade candles. Make it a potluck, divvy up purchasing materials, and enjoy this adult arts and crafts evening.
6. Book Tickets To A Local Art Show
Rather than spending a rainy Sunday afternoon at the movie theatre, head to your local art museum! Research local art exhibits in your city and invite a friend or two. This cultural experience is uplifting, eye-opening, and is guaranteed to spark interesting conversation. Bring along a polaroid camera to document your experience.
7. Host a Themed Dinner Party
Let this be inspired by your upcoming 2023 travels! A themed dinner party can be as fancy or as casual as you make it. Whether you’re going Parisian, Italian, or Thai, request that each guest bring a traditional dish from that country. Ask your guests to come prepared to explain the dish and why they chose it. Oh, and don’t forget to ask your friends to come dressed in style. No themed dinner party is complete without the appropriate attire.
8. Throw An At-Home Spa Day
So, you could totally book appointments at your local day spa (or even better, a sauna/cold plunge studio!)—we love this. Otherwise, invite a group of friends over for a mini spa day. Create a coffee and mimosa-making station, make homemade coffee cake, and lay out various face masks. Encourage your friends to come over in their coziest jammies or robes. Turn on your favorite 90s movie and enjoy a morning with your girlfriends. For a mother-daughter spa day, we have inspo for you!
9. Volunteer Together
Whether it be at an animal shelter, a food bank, a local Boys and Girls Club chapter, or a neighborhood cleanup—giving back is unparalleled for our souls. That’s doubled when it’s shared with friends.
10. Pizza And Puzzles
On the coldest of nights, throw a pizza and puzzles party. Zazzle has a variety of puzzles to choose from—buy a couple and invite your friends over for an evening of puzzles, wine, and pizza. You can order pizza in (no shame!) or ask one friend to bring dough, another to bring sauces and cheese, and another to bring toppings. Or, make this butternut squash and almond ricotta pizza. It’s divine. While your pizzas bake, puzzle away.
3 Mantras For Sticking To Your Commitments
In the thick of winter, sticking to your commitments is a game of both courage and accountability. Beyond setting a date and time for the aforementioned activities, here are three mantras to get you excited about improving your social wellness:
1. I am choosing to stick to my commitment because it is a form of practicing self-care. I will feel nourished by human connection.
2. I am choosing to stick to my commitment because, what if? What if today is the day I find my purpose, meet a new best friend, or grow in a way I didn’t think possible?
3. I am choosing to stick to my commitment because I don’t have to do this, I get to do this. It is a privilege to have such wonderful people and opportunities in my life.
These mantras are examples, so I encourage you to think about your own statement(s). Write them down, stick them in your Google Calendar, and soon enough, your commitments will feel less like commitments and more like opportunities.