Coffee Time Part 2: get your village people together

So last week I wrote { this blog } about Coffee Time being our secret to not getting a divorce.  A friend who shared it noted that Coffee Time is not just for couples – and she’s so right!

We all know it takes a village to raise a child, but I want to add that it takes a village just to stay mentally healthy.  Sometimes I’m working with clients who are anxious or depressed and I ask about social support and they report having little or none.  They have no village people.  One of our goals might be to help them find those supports.

In undergrad when I was searching for a career/purpose in life/way to pay the bills, I had a family studies class where we read this great article by Robert Putnam titled Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.  It was life-changing for me and informs my work with clients today.

Basically Putnam has researched civic engagement (a.k.a. spending time with your village people) and found kind of scary trends that indicate we are becoming more socially isolated.  Bowling Alone comes from this idea that even though the number Americans bowling was increasing, participation in leagues was decreasing (find more at http://www.bowlingalone.com).  Not joining a league means not having the camaraderie of teammates – folks who know you and are a support for you, a plus for your mental health.  Similar trends were found in other areas of civic engagement.

The picture above is from last Saturday morning drinking coffee with my sister while sitting on her front porch on a peaceful country road.  She’s a village person for me.  As are a number of other family members, friends, and neighbors.  Although it’s easy to neglect to nurture those relationships, they are so important!

So it’s almost the weekend – why don’t you text some of your village people…set up a coffee date, happy hour (Sonic version if that’s more your thing), family dinner, or game watch party (KSU vs. Vanderbilt perhaps)?  It’ll do your mental health some good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s