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Nurturing Connections During A Pandemic

Sperry Wellness is gearing up for a full blown launch this fall and with that I hope to start writing and producing more content. #goals As I take pause to reflect on the last 8 months of navigating a #pandemic, leaving my corporate job, launching a #wellnessbusiness, not to mention #homeschooling my kids, I can only say to myself, "wow, what a whirlwind ride it's been!" As all 3 of my kids transition back to in person school, I'm taking pause to try and process what even happened....because frankly it's been a blur.

Most of my current clients are working mothers like myself who have expressed frustration in trying to navigate this new normal of having our kids home full time. The isolation, lack of social connections, and the feelings of #burnout are beyond anything we could have ever imagined.

Now, as many kids across the country start to transition back to in person school, one area of #wellness that we should all spend some time thinking about is how to start re-nurturing our social connections. Because frankly, we as adults have not had enough of them over the last 8 months, and god knows our kids have especially suffered without them.

Study after study shows that friendship boosts our happiness and even our health. And while maintaining friendships has proven difficult over the last few months, there are lots of creative ways to keep our kids (and selves) feeling connected. Some of my favorites include: good old fashion pen pal letters, creating sidewalk art spreading messages of kindness, or planning a socially distanced neighborhood scavenger hunt. More ideas found here. Teens may be facing additional challenges with feelings of isolation, especially in a distance learning environment, but putting in the effort to help them feel connected to school and family can pay off well into adulthood. A 2019 CDC study tracked more than 14,000 middle school and high school students over 20 years, and found that students who felt more connected to their school, community, and family as adolescents grew up safer and with better mental health. And let's remind all of our kids (and ourselves) what being a good friend looks like. Because we could all use a few good reminders in this department! Growing Friendships, A Kids Guide to Making and Keeping Friends and How to Make and Keep Friends: Tips for Teens on Life and Social Success are both good resources for kids. And if you are interested in learning more about the science of connection, this Goop podcast featuring Julie Holland M.D. may be right up your alley. In it, she discusses her latest book, Good Chemistry where she declares "we are suffering from an epidemic of disconnection that antidepressants and social media can't fix." #powerful

Speaking of working mothers, check out what Blessing Adesiyan over at Mother Honestly is trying to accomplish. I 100% respect what she is preaching. #sneakpeak at next week's post!

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