Hi All! Welcome back to my Wellness Column. I’m going to talk about the importance of social wellness and review a few podcast episodes I recently listened to. In these podcasts the host and his guest speakers covered a variety of topics such as identity, productivity, mindfulness, stress relieving methods, and more.
One of them was Jay Shetty’s latest podcast and Eva Langoria was a guest speaker. She talked about how to do more with your time, increase productivity, and how she dealt with certain situations in her life. She had dark colored skin as a child and faced colourism and she also talked about parenthood and how much that phase in her life had shaped the following years. It was pretty insightful.
She was looked down upon for not being fair-skinned and she dealt with that by not letting other people’s opinions affect what she thought of herself. When you don’t know your own self, you accept the definition that others give you. Life is about finding your identity and learning who you are and standing by it. And change is natural, your personality keeps evolving but it’s important that you’re the one who defines it at every new stage.
Eva also quoted an author of a parenting book, and this quote applied to everyone, not only parents, “You have to meet people where they’re at in life because you cannot expect somebody to be more or say more when they’re not ready.” Everyone has problems, everyone has a learning phase, everyone has their timeline, and it’s extremely important to understand this. Understanding that we’re all coming from different places in our lives helps us sympathize better with people and have less conflicts. Social wellness is so significant in our lives. You give to society by sympathizing and accepting others and you take from society by surrounding yourself with people that not only bring you joy but are also good for your overall wellness. It’s a gray area of course, which is what makes it important enough to be part of one’s wellness journey.
And she talks about how she doesn’t waste time. Time is precious and as students we procrastinate a lot. We have so much potential and we can do so much with our time and learn so much. And of course there’s always set backs but those set backs should be exceptions and not the rule. This way, we keep our mind occupied and we feel proud of ourselves for having achieved so much in one day. Eva also mentioned something that Oprah said on her show: everything she does has to deliver something, has to have some purpose. Doing pointless things is not going to help anyone. Being mindful increases your emotional intelligence and your productivity level.
This is what I learned from this podcast episode and it’s given me so much insight. Viewing things from someone else’s perspective opens your eyes to a lot more than you ever could have imagined and I feel that’s the purpose of these podcasts. So, do listen to them when you have a chance and it could really help you if you’re struggling with these kinds of situations.
Jay Shetty had another guest speaker, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. They talked about how to reduce the consumption of chemicals that ruin your brain and body. He mentioned how he changed the way he gave advice to patients. And it’s the same idea, meet people where they’re at. He told them to start exercising at their own pace, with just a few minutes that you’re willing and ready to spare, feel the difference and you will want to work out more. Among other things, he also talked about managing micro stresses, loneliness, lifestyle, morning and bedtime routines, and sleep.
Micro stresses are tiny bursts of stress that affect us throughout the day such as stressing about waking up late, a message or email that you read after waking up, not having enough time to have breakfast, thinking about an assignment due that day, etc. They seem small enough to ignore but the more they build up the faster you will break down . And we face at least 15 micro stress doses before we leave our house in the morning, so mornings are very important for shaping the rest of your day. Dr. Chatterjee follows the rule of 3 M’s – mindfulness, movement, and mindset. Mindfulness can be any sort of mediation such as breathing or positive affirmations, movement includes a quick exercise, and mindset can entail reading a book for a few minutes. This seems like a good morning routine and I’m going to give it a shot. So, try this out as well and see if it changes your energy levels.
Bedtime routines are vital for sleep patterns. Us students tend to watch TV before we sleep because we feel it helps us decompress after a hard day’s work. It really doesn’t. Sleeping for that one hour instead of watching TV can go a long way and you will feel more refreshed the next morning. Sleep is the true decompression and it defines our behavior, productivity and stress levels during the day. The problem is we don’t make it a priority because our lives are so busy. We feel like we need to accomplish certain things before we go to sleep, but having less sleep is what hinders our accomplishments. So, make sleep a priority and you will study so much better.
Your social wellness also depends on loneliness. In today’s age, we define friendship and connection in terms of social media connectivity. But as humans, we need deep meaningful connection to be able to survive. When you’re lonely, you feel vulnerable and your body is smart enough to protect you. Your blood sugar rises, your body becomes inflamed and your immune system is affected. Everything is interconnected. Your social health affects your mental and physical health. With the amount we stress during the study term, loneliness will only make it worse for us. So even if you’re really busy since finals are soon approaching, make some time for socializing. And it doesn’t have to be a night out with your friends. You can form a study group or go to the library with a friend. Take a break from your studies and meet a friend for coffee.
I learnt a lot from listening to these 70 minute episodes on Spotify. The podcast is called ON Purpose by Jay Shetty and the individual episodes are with Eva Langoria and Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. So I’d recommend listening to them even though I’ve summarized it for you. Just listen to it when you’re walking to class or having lunch. It’s honestly so informative. And I hope it helps you.
Keep studying hard. You got this!