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Amy Giddon reflects on what social wellness means and how to expand the reach and benefits.

July is social wellness month.

Although the World Health Organization has defined health in terms of physical, mental, and social wellness as far back as 1948, neither the concept nor the term was firmly planted in our cultural landscape until about 5 years ago, when the loneliness epidemic became more widely acknowledged. And still, even with the 31 days of July dedicated to it, there is not a consistent understanding of what social wellness actually is. The most common description I see is that social wellness is the quality of our closest social connections and the personal capacity to create and foster those intimate relationships.

There is no doubt that those relationships are essential to our wellbeing. There are myriad data demonstrating the physical and mental health benefits of social connection, including boosting our immune systems, staving off depression and anxiety, protecting our heart health, and bringing more joy and fulfillment to our lives. Conversely, loneliness and isolation have been linked to a variety of poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of early mortality.

Being able to nurture the relationships that support us is fundamental to our health. The relational skills such as listening, empathy, and accountability that allow for mutually supportive relationships to flourish are essential. We can’t be socially healthy without an intimate circle of people that feel like home: where we are known, loved, and accepted.

But is social wellness bigger?

Key points include:

  • Relational skills
  • Social empathy
  • Collective social wellness

Read the full article, Creating a Bigger Social Wellness Movement, on LinkedIn.

 

Amy Giddon takes a look back at the past year to provide friendly insight and advice on how to make life better in five easy ways. 

2020 has been a year like no other. As we’ve grown weary, depleted, and drained, the power of kindness to transform a moment, a day, a life has only grown. When people are asked to recall a kindness they received, they often recall a time when they were at their most fragile and a small generous act had an outsized and memorable impact. We’re all a bit fragile now. It’s been turbulent. The amazing thing is – an act of kindness leaves a lasting impression on both the giver and the receiver of a kind act, healing both.

Short on time? Short on funds? Quarantined? No worries. There are many ways to spread kindness right where you are. And you already have the most valuable kindness resource of all – the warm beam of your attention.

Here are some kind acts that are tailor-made for this year that’s been anything but kind:

1) See others, really see them. Smile at strangers (with your eyes if masked). Make contact with people you usually don’t acknowledge. Give a chance to someone that you might dismiss. Slow down and pay attention to people. Tell someone you’re thinking of them. Listen intently. Follow up. Smile some more. And just watch how people soften, straighten, blossom under your gaze.

 

Key points include:

  • Providing relief
  • Self-care
  • The power of appreciation

 

Read the full article, 5 Ways to Be Kind In a Year That Hasn’t Been, on LinkedIn. 

 

 

In this article, Amy Giddon reveals what her team discovered when they asked the public about courage.

What we learned when we asked 250 people about their fears.

‘Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.’ — Brené Brown

We’re having trouble seeing each other these days. It’s always been hard to show up in our full complexity and contradictions, and now we have social media further tempting us to filter and edit our stories. We fear the judgment in the comments section and hang on every “like,” only sharing what fits our narrative. Even those close to us may remain partial mysteries, while those unlike us can seem downright confounding, and even scary at times. We fill in the blanks with assumptions and judgments of our own, maintaining our distance. So how do we get past this to see and be seen more clearly?

Become curious. Thoughtful questions are an invitation to deeper connection.

We’re building a mobile app, Daily Haloha, to challenge ourselves to share beyond our social profile. Daily Haloha asks people around the world one thought-provoking fill-in-the-blank question every day. And since people remain anonymous — and we leave out judgments and “likes” — they can be comfortable answering the questions honestly, and even vulnerably.

 

Key areas covered in this article include:

  • Physical risks
  • Emotional risks
  • Financial risks

 

Read the full article, The Surprising Connection Between Curiosity and Courage, on LinkedIn.

 

 

Amy Giddon shares insight gained on social media through an App developed by her company that was designed to improve the social media experience by cultivating a better connection. 

We created Daily Haloha to be a positive collective experience of reflection and connection. At a time when connections are frayed and our spirits dampened, we were struck by how participatory art and story sharing projects could uplift and unite us in a moment of shared humanity. We were inspired by how the ability to express oneself authentically and in the absence of judgment, validation, or debate was liberating, even empowering — whether it was through writing on a chalkboard, putting up a sticky note, or sharing a secret on a postcard. No social network or followers needed. Everything contributed in a public space, anonymously. Everyone’s voice is recognized equally.

The idea behind our app was to make it as simple as possible for more and more people to participate in these magic moments. Daily Haloha invites self-reflection and collective discovery by inviting the world to answer one single thought-provoking question each day. In our simple 3-step experience, participants:

  • Reflect and respond to the daily question
  • Connect to another by swapping responses in a chain reaction of anonymous sharing
  • Feel uplifted by perusing reflections from all over the world on the Haloha Wall

 

Areas discussed include:

 

  • Drawing hard lines
  • Creating something different
  • Testing product and principles

 

Read the full article, We Broke Down Social Media to Try and Build Up Humanity, on LinkedIn.