It's something so many of us have missed throughout the pandemic, and it's an essential part of our overall health; Sense of Community.
Precision Nutrition's Deep Health model targets the 6-dimensions of health. Our community and social health can really tie into the Relational, Existential (to some extent) and Environmental dimensions. 2022 has brought back a wonderful sense of community for me personally, and as we move into the summer months, I'm reminded of this more and more.
First off, this sense of community has been brought back into my life in one of my favourite ways possible; soccer. I took on the role as Club Head Referee with our local Quinte West Soccer Club this season and not only dove back into reffing after 23yrs, but also am now able to mentor young referees so they can both stick with it and enjoy it at the same time, to better the future of our beautiful game.
Although being Club Head Ref means you have those who don't agree with what you do (i.e. follow and enforce the rules of the game), you have plenty who do respect and appreciate your role as well, which is always nice to hear. Within that, I've been able to reconnect with so many of my 'soccer people'. After retiring in late 2018, it was a part of my life that (pandemic aside) was missing. As exhausting, time consuming and stressful as the role can be as an official / head official, it's wonderful to experience that sense of community again.
I was also reminded of this important element of "feel good health" today. Our little town/village of Frankford is not what it once was. Everyone used to know everyone in the little 1200 person village in Quinte West. Now we're well over twice that size due to so many new homes being built in the past decade (and especially past 5-years). It's not uncommon for us 'Frankfordians' to not know people wandering around town (which is odd, especially for the lifelong 'Frankfordians'). The other sad part is, we only have so much 'town' available here for businesses etc so many people are used to driving out of town to other local areas for errands, work etc which creates even less 'getting to know people' in your community.
But sometimes we get those little glimpses and feel good community moments. Today, I was just walking to the grocery store (about 2-3 blocks away) to grab something quick, when I was stopped by our local crossing guard. She was a frequent visitor at our ArtiZen Cafe when it was open, is a friend of a fellow local musician who frequented our cafe as well and performed with me several times pre-pandemic, and is a client of my wife's here at Zenergy Health & Wellness. She calls me across the road to say hi and ask about my health coaching services. She has osteoarthritis and is looking for some professional guidance to help keep her healthy and manage her condition to the best of her abilities. Within the conversation she discussed how she had heard about my coaching (positive things thankfully LOL) from some of my past clients who are locals as well. No matter how deep into your career you go, it's always nice to hear when you've made people happy and when they refer others to use your services as well. Especially when it's local.
After I was done at the grocery store, I walked back to the studio, grabbed my card and brought it back to her (with "no delivery charge"... What a bargain! LOL)
There's something refreshing, simplisitic and wonderful about not only living and working in a small community, but also where a simple stroll to the store (or anywhere in town for that mattter) can lead to feel good conversation, the ability to help someone else in your community, smiles, laughs and more. That's special. Those little moments help improve our overall health and wellbeing to such a great extent.
If you can walk to the store, the bank or anywhere you need/want to go in your community, take
the opportunity to not drive. Smile at someone passing you on the street. Say 'good morning' or 'beautiful day isn't it?' as they pass. Make them, and you, feel good about getting out, moving and being in your community. You never know what it will bring.