When I think about the month of May I think about new life. I think baby chicks, flowers coming into bloom, and the comforting smell of propane as Dad fires up the grill for the first BBQ of the season. With May also comes college graduations—a new adventure awaits. Change is in the air, the weather is warmer and the days are getting longer. May is a month of transitions and new beginnings.

Up until this point, I have focused mainly on the individual. This time of year the change in weather presents us with many new opportunities to get involved within our communities—let’s use this as a starting point for incorporating social wellness into our lives. Get outside! Join a hiking club, visit your local farmers market, or have those friends of yours that you haven’t seen in a while over for a BBQ. If you have kiddos, start to plan fun activities for the summer, cherish the time you will have them all to yourself. Show them the importance of community—plan a family day volunteering together. Teach them, learn from them, engage with them and be present.

This time of year is the perfect excuse to surround ourselves with the right people. Whether your community is your family, your group of friends, or a bigger organization, take this time to nurture that relationship. Start small—focus on what/who matters most. Get involved, ask questions, and be active. Ultimately, community and social wellness can bring about great change. I have witnessed people coming together for a common goal on so many levels and no matter how great or small the goal—it is always beautiful. So, slow it down, take it all in, and start to grow and nurture your own community.

I am currently going through a transition of my own. I am living in a new place, far away from my family and friends. I love people and being away from everyone has been an adjustment. But, I am taking my own advice. I talk to strangers, I engage and I ask questions. By making myself open and available, I have met some incredible people—just in the short time I have been here. I’ve also come to appreciate my relationships back home and I have made sure to let them all know how much I miss them and how thankful I am for their support.

Change can be unsettling, but this should never be mistaken for unhappiness. Give yourself time to adjust, and use whatever is going on in your life as a way to connect with those around you. Whatever transition or changes you are dealing with, the love and support from your community will give you strength. Not only should you lean on those around you for support, but make yourself available in the same way. This is the foundation for social wellness.

Peace and Love.

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About The Author

Kelsey Lettko's picture

Kelsey Lettko finds happiness in dancing, traveling, music, and good conversation.  She is a San Francisco Bay Area native, who loves to explore both her own community and the world. She has traveled to Swaziland to aid in malaria net distributions, Argentina to study and teach dance, and Cambodia to teach English and volunteer on an elephant reserve.  As a recent graduate from the University of Redlands, she has a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and is very excited to embark on her post-grad journey and see where life takes her.

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