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Episode 9: Social Wellness with Kathe Bates

Updated: 4 days ago

Kathe Bates
Kathe Bates

Welcome to the Wellness in Every Season of Motherhood podcast where we explore what it means to achieve total wellness. I am your host, Autumn Carter. This podcast is geared more towards mothers, but we try to be inclusive of all here as we learn together to get us out of survival mode and into thriving during life transitions.

This is episode 9. Welcome Wellness Wanderers. Welcome to a new episode of Wellness in Every Season. Today we have a special guest, Kathe Bates, a life coach specializing in relationships. Our conversation will focus on social wellness, an essential aspect of our overall well-being that affects many areas of our lives. Kathe will share her personal experiences and strategies she learned while earning her undergrad in psychology and life coaching certification.

Whether you're struggling with maintaining healthy relationships, feeling isolated or seeking practical tips to enhance your social wellness, this episode is for you. Get ready to prioritize your social wellness and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. So let's dive into this episode of Wellness in Every Season with Kathe Bates.

Kathe is a personal development instructor. She is certified as a life coach from Life Purpose Institute and has been doing one-on-one coaching for six years.

She has a bachelor's in psychology and in her business PsychedforLife, she has combined her education of coaching and psychology. She has a four pillar program based on relationships, mental and emotional wellness, confidence,

and finances to create a strong foundation for those who are trying to achieve success and happiness in life. Is there anything else that you want to share about yourself before we dive into our questions?

Well, if anybody is interested in learning more about Psyched for Life and the

Four Pillar Program, they can check it out on Facebook. Just look up Psyched for Life AZ and to give you a bit more information there.

Why do you think social health is important?

I guess for those wondering, you know, what social health is, I'll kind of describe that just a little bit and then go into why it's important. You know, social health is really, it's being engaged with other people in your life. Be it in your community, your workspace, friends, family, whoever.

It's the ability to not only develop relationships and friendships, but to also maintain them. It's being able to create boundaries in any of your relationships, be it family, friends, coworkers.

Having boundaries is a pretty important thing to have in social health. Also having a supportive network of people in your life, these relationships are there,

whether they're healthy or not, might be something that you want to consider or think about. Maintaining healthy relationships. This is important because in a healthy relationship, you don't want to lose that.

It's like a fire. Once you get it going, you have to keep adding vlogs to the fire every so often to keep that fire alive. And it's the same with relationships. You have to keep that social connection for the relationship to stay alive. It's also important to be open to developing new friendships and relationships.

At first it might be outside your comfort zone to start talking with someone new.

But change never happens when you are in your comfort zone. It's good to expand your circle of friends and your relations because you never know the people who you're going to meet. And you might think, well, I've already got a best friend, I've already got a spouse, and, you know, happily married, I'm good.

But, you know, at some point in your life you didn't know your best friend, you had to meet them.

And, you know, same goes for your spouse before you met them. Right? You didn't know them. You had to go out there and meet them. In any situation, like to say, you know, a person who says, "Hey, my work's hiring. You should apply."

And now you've seen that, you know, you've been there for 20 years working.

And, you know, whatever the situation is, you never know who it is that is going, you know, that you're going to meet and how they're going to impact or influence your life and the influence that they can have on your life. You want to make sure that the people you are around are the people that you enjoy being around.

It's said that you emulate the five people that you're around the most. You know, you got to think who is it that you want to be like and then surround yourself with people that uplift you, encourage you, you know, people with good standards and work ethics, whatever it is that you want to be like, surround yourself with those kind of people. And if you don't know people like that,

then go and meet some. Go go find some. They're, because they're out there. But if you go around, you know, people who bring you down and drain your energy and you know leave you depleted by the time you're done, go find some new people to be around because the way that you feel around people is important. Another thing to consider when it comes to social health is caring about others and not only that, but letting others care about you. Having empathy for another person is a good thing.

When there's a lack of empathy, that can cause to worry because that can lead to problematic situations. But I also want to make a point again on the or the second part of that first sentence where it says caring for others and letting others care for you. I see so often where someone is in need, they refuse help from a friend or a stranger even, and so next time someone asks if you want some help or if there's something that they can do for you, say yes. You know, pay attention to how it makes you feel when you let someone help you. Also notice how that other person acts and responds to you letting them help you in your life, letting them show care and compassion for someone. You've got to make sure that we aren't too prideful to allow others to care about us. And next you have to contribute to society and your community. It's bigger than yourself kind of a picture. You look at it as we're all living on this earth together. You know we're all in this one world and that's something that everyone in the whole world has in common is that we're all here on earth.

You know when we go and we serve in our community or workplace or church it allows us to be doing more than just focusing on us. It kind of goes back to that caring for others. You know it might be easy to look at social health and just kind of blow it off as something that isn't as important as physical health or mental health but in reality social health is just as important, it's just not as talked about as much. You know there's this show on the history channel called Alone and if you haven't seen it you should go check it out because it's pretty cool.

My husband and I enjoy watching it together but it's about these people who get dropped off in the middle of the wilderness and they have a limited amount of supplies that they have to live and they have to live off the land and they're completely alone hence the name of the show Alone. So there's not even a film crew they they do their own filming their own cameras and everything but it's interesting because every single one of the contestants talks about how being alone is so hard mentally. It often puts them in like a state of depression and causing them to think about why they're there, why are they doing what they're doing, and a lot of the contestants are like these big tough guys, but oftentimes you'll see them just break down and cry because of how hard it is.

And I don't think that we truly realize how much we need to have our social health in order to to keep going and live a happy life. Even for those who are introverts, and they might say that they're OK not going out, or being social. It's still an aspect of life that is needed, and it's still a part of their life as well.

That made me think a lot about during the shutdown and the beginning part of COVID. So many people who are a little more introverted like I am, we were struggling. And it made me realize that we still needed that social aspect and we were definitely missing it. And it took us a little bit longer to start to struggle than those who are naturally more extroverted and just somehow in a way I don't fully understand, they gain energy from being around other people and just get energized off other people or if I did a little more training. That's what I thought about. And my other thing that I thought about when you were talking is you are pregnant with your sixth kid. So which five people do you count that influence you?!?

And then do I have to count my kids? Do I act like my toddler? Sometimes I feel like I do. I don't know. Does he get the tantrums for me or do I get them from him? Thankfully, I don't throw him very often, but there are times where I'm like, I'm really pouting right now. I really need to change things around. So anyway, that's what I thought about.

How has your social health positively affected your perspective and then your career and your life choices?

Well, as you mentioned, I am a mom of five kids, soon to be six, and building a

career and supporting a husband who is creating a new business, and all the things that come with a busy life, school, church activities. And there was a point in my life where I had three kids at the time, and I was pregnant with my fourth while I was getting my degree online. And there were lots of late nights where I was up writing papers or doing homework, sometimes till like three o'clock in the morning.

You know, even in my schoolwork, it was required of us to make comments on certain questions posted by the teacher. But not only that, we had to make a number of comments on other students' posts as well. And so even in situations where it feels like there's not any social interaction, 'cause my husband was gone a lot working, I was up late alone at night doing homework. It is still there. And it helped during my later college days to still have that social health aspect of my life filled with the other students in my class and communicating with them and through the comments and stuff.

There's better ways, but it was something. And at that point in my life, it was enough. At this point in my life, I'm home in the day with all the kids,

all five of them, and doing all the mom things that moms do. I don't have the opportunity to get out as much as my husband does because he gets out of the house for his work in business.

And it's actually, it's hard sometimes when he's gone doing his networking things and I'm home. And sometimes during the week, it's hard because he might be the only adult that I get to talk to in a particular day. And so it can be hard.

Kids are great, but conversations only go so far with a three-year-old. I've found that on the days where it's harder, if I text a friend throughout the day, sometimes it helps me feel connected and get a little bit of that social health, even if it's a small amount. Or I'll give my mom a call 'cause she's like my best friend and we'll just talk and I'll see how she's doing.

I'm a homebody, so I like being home. And I do go out with some friends. I like the smaller groups with a few people where it's easy to carry on a conversation. There's different ways that we get our social needs met, everyone's different and has different levels of where their social needs are. As part of my career, it's required of me to meet with people one-to-one for coaching or to stand in front of a group of people and to teach them a class or one of my courses. Not everyone is like that, but I enjoy being up there teaching. And while yes, I do enjoy the smaller groups when it's personal gathering for fun, for work, when I'm up there, it lifts my spirits. And when I'm in front of a group, it energizes me and it recharges me, kind of what you were mentioning before. And so that's me and my husband is that way too.

How do you think it ties into other areas of wellness?

All the areas of wellness tie together with each other. Let's see, specifically with good social health, it supports better mental and even emotional health. There is research that shows us that long lasting loneliness and constant stress that can come from poor social health is linked to many health problems. Whereas when you've got strong social connections, research has also showed us that it's linked

to a longer life, reduced stress, and improved heart health. Some of the benefits of social health and its connection to good mental health, those are numerous.

There are proven links between good social health, lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships.

Better mental health, it can lighten your mood and it would make you feel happier. Lower your risk of dementia. Social interaction is good for your brain health. It promotes a sense of safety, belonging, and security. It allows you to confide in others and let them confide in you. Maintaining optimal level of social wellness allows you to build healthy relationships with others.

Having a supportive social network allows you to develop assertive skills

and become comfortable with who you are in social situations. So surrounding yourself with a positive social network increases your self-esteem.

There's someone I know who suffers from a lot of physical chronic pain and because of this they usually stay in a room in one spot where they hurt the least and you know, they try to make the best of it, but because of this they are isolated a lot. You know they don't really have many social interactions with anyone. This person seems stressed a lot and has that constant loneliness and depression and low self-esteem that can come with having little to no social interaction, you know, having those poor social health. And I'm not professional on this, or, but I imagine that it also is affecting his physical health, even though it's a little bit different than what I talked about before, but I imagine it affects his physical health. It is making that worse as well.

You know, another example is my husband. Uh, my husband's business, I think I mentioned a little before, it's called Bridging Divides. And it's based on him going out and talking to people and building relationships. So throughout the week, he'll be gone a lot at network meetings and Chamber of Commerce meetings and just getting to know people one-on-one with lunch and just getting to know them better to build and expand that network of relationships. Anyone who's ever met my husband would probably never guess this because he's so happy and friendly and it's very personal and when you meet him, it just makes you feel happy and you know, you relate to him so much. But he struggles with depression and so there are days where he doesn't want to go out and do anything. He just wants to stay home and just kind of give up on the world, you know? But he's made commitments to meet someone or to be there at a certain place or a certain time. And so he goes and he does it anyway. And he always comes back recharged and feeling happier and lighter and motivated to go and do more. And so that social health is very important for him, not only for his career, but also for his mental health too.

When you started talking about the person that you know who suffers from chronic pain and the physical aspect of it and how it can tie into it, it made me think about how we as moms, I don't know about you, but I have some mom groups that I join every week. We are constantly like, "Oh, which doctor do you see for this?" Just giving each other tips and ideas for physical health. Things help our physical health. And there is, especially when you feel seen, there is

so much energy around that. There are so many times where I don't want to go out for whatever reason. I come back home and I'm like, I felt like I was seen by this person or even better, I felt like I saw somebody and I was able to help them. Especially being a mom, there are times when I go to the store a little bit earlier in the day. So it's usually when retired people are out and about who maybe don't have the best of health. And because I'm lifting children all day long, I'll be like, Oh, I'll get that heavy thing off the shelf for you. Plus I'm tall. So I'll definitely get that off the shelf for you.

And I just see how they went from looking around for an employee. And nowadays, it's harder to find employees in stores too. I was seen, somebody helped me. Plus, I had these children to smile at that smiled back at me. And they're not worried about the way I look or you know, whatever. It's just it's fun to be able to lighten other people's load like that.

So I like that part of just helping people, that way of uplifting other people. That always fills my cup with helping others.

Well, especially older people, they don't have that opportunity a lot to go out and interact. And so sometimes the only time they get is going to the grocery store. And all my kids in the shopping cart, and they'll wave and just say, "Hi," as we walk by. And their faces just light up. Anybody, old or young, they just light up. Because someone's noticing them and acknowledging their existence here in this world, as opposed to just walking by as if they don't exist at all, which we do all the time. Anytime we go out, we mostly just walk by people as if they're not even there. Well, because we were taught not to stare. So just don't even look there. We're not staring, right? Yeah. Well, talk to strangers. Like, yes.

Well, it made me think about how the other day I was pulling down mulch. There was nobody around and I was having to step across mulch because those bags were ripped to get to the mulch that was back behind. And I did my three bags and I was like, Oh, my back was already hurting that day. And then I turned around and somebody else needed it. I'm like, "All right, fine." Like in my head, I still like showed the brightness and like all of that. And afterwards, she was thanking me and I told her, "You know what? This is how we make the world a better place. It's by each doing our part and helping out each other." And she was just like, "I really like that." And she just kind of walked off and I walked in a different direction to go do my thing. And I had somebody else help me later on in that same store. So, you know, it's It's just the pay it forward mentality.

You never know what's going on in someone else's life either.

What do you think the signs are that you are neglecting your social health?

I start to feel lonely. There are seven, soon to be eight people living in our house, right? It's a lot. And there's always someone around, even when you're in the bathroom and you wanna be alone, but you've got the little fingers coming under the door and they're calling your name. So I'm not necessarily talking about physically being alone, but rather the feeling of being alone.

Then when I start noticing that, it's wanting to talk to someone, wanting someone to want to listen to me and to laugh and to enjoy time with. That feeling comes and it starts to make me feel sad and depressed sometimes. And I recognize this and I'll tell my husband, I need to go and do something with friends or with him or someone. He's very supportive and encouraging of me doing that 'cause he knows how important it is for him and what a difference it makes for him. So he understands that I need that too. But recognizing that feeling, I've noticed that the change in my mood, it's a reminder that, hey, you need to go and be around some grownups and some friends.

What do you think the sign is for others?

For others, I think that it's probably the same, if not similar. There's signs of having good social wellness, some being a development of assertiveness skills,not passive or aggressive on balancing social and personal time, the ability to be who you are in all situations, becoming engaged with other people in your community, valuing diversity and treating others with respect. If you're looking at this list and you're like, "Well, I don't have any of those things," then that's probably a good sign that you should work on some of your social health a bit more.

As I mentioned earlier, poor social health often leads to stress and loneliness, which can negatively affect physical as well as mental health. So if you find yourself feeling lonely, stressed, irritable, or depressed, you know, you might want to look at your social health and see if doing something more in that area could help you. Our brain and our body have needs and that it will tell us about. So when we're hungry, our tummy grows. When we're tired, we yawn and it's hard to keep our eyes open. And it's the same with any part of our overall wellness. If something is lacking, our body will try its best to tell us what it means. We just have to try to solve the riddle of what that is.


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You came up with things that I haven't really thought about. The one thing that always comes to me when I think about social wellness, because I see so many people that don't have it, is that those who aren't socially well off don't have as good of boundaries within their relationships. And that could be on either side of the picket fence, if you want to think of it that way, is that you don't know how to respect other people's boundaries. And then there's the opposite side where you don't know how to maintain healthy boundaries to tell people before they cross them, "Hey, you're kind of getting in the yellow zone here, yellow light, slow down here."


So that it doesn't get to the point where it's like, "We're done being friends." And the person's going, "Hey, wait, what happened?" Where you didn't even give them some warning signs and some red flags here, you know? So that's every time that I looked into social wellness through my degree, that's always been what's popped in my mind. So I'm glad that you mentioned a lot of other things I haven't thought about. So thank you for that.

I do think that social interaction, when there's a lack, you can definitely notice people that don't have very good social skills. And like you're saying, boundaries, it's important. They don't recognize where other people's boundaries are. They don't have boundaries for themselves. They'll say things and you're just like, "Well, that was super offensive." But they don't notice that and they don't recognize that you were offended or things like that just because of the lack of having that social interaction often. They don't pick up on things like that.

My husband and I are both very empathetic. We will look at other people and we can tell that that person wants the other person to shut up but the other person's so stuck in their head that they're not seeing it. Could you tell that that person's offended and the other person doesn't realize or you know stuff like that? My other thought is that I have noticed as we age we tend to get to this point where we don't quite care what the other person feels and the filter tends to go away. I have noticed a lot of older people like start to offend me as they get older like

just because the filter kind of goes away. So I thought about that with social wellness as well.

And then I've thought about how some people are just, they kind of like roll you over when they're talking. They just keep talking. And it makes me wonder if with that lack of the social skill is that they're so, sometimes they don't get a chance to talk and like air everything out. And it can be very draining to be around those people, because maybe they are getting so wound up with their

nerves because they don't have the social skills that they're just kind of being like those windup toys and then they just go.

Yeah, you know, and what's interesting when you mentioned the older people, um, and you know, as you get older, right, you tend to lose your filter, right, a little bit more. And, you know, but also when you get older, you have less social interaction with people. And so, you know, that could be a connection there where it's, they might not even realize that they're doing it. Um, but, you know, they just say what they're thinking and because they haven't socialized in quite a while with anybody. And so that's just normal for their brains. Don't do that.

I love that you talked about loneliness, because that is something that I mentioned in the emotional wellness episode. And it's something that I studied a little bit in school. And it sounds like you did too. Maybe we took some of the same classes.

We do tend to get more lonely as we are getting older. There was something else that you said about people who don't have a lot of social health go out and they interact and they just talk a lot. I will find myself doing that. There's times where like, you know, like I said, sometimes I'm home a lot and I don't get out often. So when I do get out, I'll just talk, talk and talk. And I can like see the person like, you know, looking to the side and I realize, oh my goodness, I'm just talking and

talking because I haven't talked to a grown up in the week, you know. And so like, and I just have to make that mental be like, okay, you know what, ask them a question, you know, kind of engage them and make it a conversation, not just a blurt of, you know, whatever it is that comes to my head and and I'm thinking.

So, you know, I just think that you don't necessarily have to be old for that to happen or, you know, or just have no friends at all. But sometimes if you just go a long period without talking with someone, it can kind of trigger that, oh, someone to talk to. And then you just get like a dog when their owner comes home, you're just like so excited. And they're just all over you. It's just like.

That is why I try to get out of the house. And I'm at the point in life right now with kids where I am out a lot because of preschool drop off and pick up. So I have that and then story time and all of the things. But yes, I totally feel you.

And it's like, OK, I need to find the next person to word vomit on for a little. Yeah.


So and this is exactly why I decided to focus on moms in particular, is because we can have some of the same problems that the elderly do, because we are stuck at home with these little needy people who are draining our cup faster

than we can fill it. And we need to make sure that we are having our social interactions. And when you were talking about service, reaching out to another mom, it will benefit us and them. There's your service right there. Reach out to others around you because it is important to build your village, which I've already talked about in other episodes. We have an epidemic of loneliness because we as moms are not building our village and when stuff happens, we need to be able to have people around us like you having a baby you that's when you really are grateful for those people who reach out to you and meals and every other thing that they can help with carpool whatever so necessary when you're not getting enough sleep.


And I still don't understand how we're supposed to take care of this infant when and we've been practically run over by a truck, but okay.

Right, I still don't get that one.

That's not fair.

My mom is here for it, at least. I always call my mom and be like, "Mom, I need your help."

I live on the other side of the country.

I was gonna say not everybody has their mom that lives nearby, and so that's when you really have to rely on your community or your friends around you, make that your family. My husband was in the Navy, and we were stationed in South Carolina. All my family's here in Arizona, and so is his. And so we were having a baby out there in South Carolina. And I'm just like, what am I going to do? My mom's always here to help watch the kids when I have to go to the hospital. And so I had to reach out to that community and to my friends that I have met and make that my family. And so I had friends come in the middle of the night, come and stay with my kids while we went to the hospital. And they were happy to help. No one complained. I was like, oh, it's the middle of the night. Can't you like, hold it in? like, you know, they were like, yeah, I'll be over right away. You know, and so when we do reach out, we do again, it's like recognizing someone saying hello to them in the store. We're noticing them. We're saying, Hey, I need you in my life. You know, when we ask for help and it's people want to be needed.

I know I feel really good when people reach out to me. It's like, Oh, you thought of me. You need me. I will try my best to fill that need. And if I can't, I will find somebody else. Yes. And we're from Arizona too, so I totally feel that. And our payment for our friends is they got told the newborn and they love newborns. So it was like, yes, you hold my newborn for a little bit while I doze. Cool. That's your reward for helping and watch my toddler. Cool.

What have you done or routinely do to check up on your social wellness?

I don't think that there's anything that I intentionally do as a checkup on my social wellness. If I do notice that I am starting to feel lonely, then I let my husband know and we make an effort to spend some time together more or for him to watch the kids while I go out and I do something social with someone. It is important to talk about how you're feeling, being aware of those feelings so that you can address them when they come and you can seek that help or you can go and find that social interaction with people.

I know that in my church community, we have a gathering once a month for women to come and to do an activity together or to serve, do service things, or even just play games and eat food sometimes. And it's for the women to get together and to build that community with each other and to be that support system that we all need. So having that has helped me, I guess routinely once a month, have that social wellness checkup.

That is why I do playgroups and I try to find people who have similar interests.

For you, it's at church, which is so important.

What can others do to strengthen this area if they are in a deficit?

Well, honestly, just getting out there and doing something. Like my husband, when he's feeling lonely and depressed, he gets out there and does something, even though he doesn't want to. But he comes back feeling better. You know, you got to get out of your comfort zone sometimes in order to feel more comfortable. Which is kind of, you know, funny way to say that, but it's true.

You know, when you're around other people, you know, take a minute and

recognize how other people influence you. You know, you want to be around the people who are a good influence, you know, kind of how we mentioned before having those five people you hang around the most. You know, and if you realize that you're not, you know, then maybe that's where that deficit is coming from. And so changing that can help your social wellness.

Another thing is to share your feelings honestly with people around you because that's when they can help. And it's good to be open and vulnerable. sometimes it allows other people to feel that they can in turn be open and vulnerable with you too. And that develops a bond and a trust and a connection between people. And you know, don't be afraid to ask others when you're in need for something. I know that's something that we just talked about. If you need to get out and do something, don't be afraid to call somebody up and ask if they want to go out and do something with you because they probably are wanting to do the same thing too. You know, too, they probably need to get out and do something, especially as moms, you know, if you're stressed with life and you know life's problems and you feel overwhelmed, like don't be afraid to ask your spouse to watch the kids while you go and take a break or spend some time with some you know some friends. You know if you never ask the answer is always gonna be no. So another thing is to listen. I think we talked about this before too, you know with like word vomits right? You know it's make sure that when you're with people you listen to them without judgment or blame. Having a good relationship you know doesn't just come from talking. It's important to make sure that you show you care about the other person by listening to them and what they have to say without any judgment.

You know, and if you have any disagreements, that's okay to respectfully disagree and keyword is respectfully, right? You know, and lastly, to help strengthen any deficit you might have in your social wellness to avoid being overly critical of other people or getting angry over little things. This type of behavior that can can make that deficit worse because it will honestly Obviously nobody likes to be around that kind of a person and it doesn't make them feel good and it also doesn't make you feel good either when you act that way.

Or when you're critical of yourself.

Oh yes, definitely.

I have the hardest time because of my past. When people are very critical of themselves and they kind of just showcase that, they make it very obvious, I'm very sensitive to that because of my childhood. So I tend to stay away from people like that because it kind of just rubs off on me and it just rubs me the wrong way.

So there's definitely with that or somebody who complains a lot, they're, they're also the type of people where I'm like, I want to be a little bit further away from you because I'm going to silver line and drive you up the wall with how much I'm going to silver line to have you see the other side of things.

And then the other thing that when you were talking, it really brought home for me the importance of going on dates and with your significant other. And then the importance of going out with friends. Like you said, when I have friends invite me to things, it's just, oh, you thought of me.

Same thing. - Awesome. It just rekindles that friendship a little more. Like reignites it.

You know, I really like that.


Well, and sometimes when you get invited, if you can't go out and see other plans, just the feeling of getting invited, like, oh, I feel, you know, your spirits get lifted. Like, oh, they thought of me, they wanted me. You know, even though I can't go, but just that alone sometimes, you know, can help you feel better. Lift those spirits, you know, help you get that loneliness gone a little bit, so.

Yeah, I've had that where it's like, I actually can't go, but I really want to spend time with you. So let's schedule it for another time. So maybe they go out with a different friend, but they still get time with me.

Yeah. And I've done that with friends too.

It's where, okay, I want to spend time with you in the next six months. Let's schedule it out. Because we can be so busy that it's like, I am making this a priority somewhere in my calendar. Let's get our calendars together.

Right, even if it's next year, it will happen.

Yes, there are some friends that are like that where I only see them once a year, but I look forward to that time.



So I will need to reach out to her and be like, summer is approaching. When are we meeting up at the pool? Okay.

How can others be preventative in this area?

It's a little similar to the answer before, I think, you know, it's okay to go out and

to do things. I mean, sometimes as moms, we get busy with work or with family, with friends, you know, and that's normal. That's a part of life. What's also a normal part of life is to have time, even if you have to make it or make that effort to make it. Sometimes it's that hard to plan a year in advance, but to go out and to do something social.

It could be a girls' night out, business party, a visit with your sister or your friend.

Even something as simple as a phone call can make such a difference. I think that any mom out there will find that it's hard to put your responsibilities aside

in order to take care of yourself. And I hear all the time that in order for you to take care of another person, you need to first take care of yourself. And this includes your social wellness.

For me, I've noticed that when I come back from hanging out with my friend, I feel more attentive to my children when they're talking with me, you know, or they're showing me something. Like I'll get down on their level and I'll look into their face as they're talking to me and telling me whatever it is that they want to say or ask me. And I feel happy doing it. You know, because sometimes they can, you know, bug you and you're just like, okay, here's the answer and I'll go away.

But when I go and I get fed socially, you know, I love, it makes me be more present in each, you know, moment with those that I'm around, especially my kids and my husband, you know, and sometimes we go through the busy day-to-day nuances and it's easy to get caught up with all the responsibility that life puts on our shoulders. Taking that time to focus on social wellness can help reset that button and lift some of those weights that you feel on your shoulders. It doesn't mean that they're gone per se, but they might feel like they're lighter or they're easier to bear. Just knowing that you're not alone.

I was also thinking about the importance of when we schedule our haircuts. Like actually be there, put down our phone, be present, and talk to the people who are around us. In the grocery store, talk to your cashier. There are so many opportunities that we take for granted to form social connections. And especially being moms, I go to the grocery store about the same time of day and the same day of the week. So they know me and there's one woman in particular, Miss Mary, who I adore, who I actually met through a friend of mine. This employee now looks for us and says "Hi" to us and I was out of town a month ago and she recognized our kids and she knew I was going to be out of town so she introduced herself to my husband and went and hugged our kids anyway. And the funny part is I was on the phone with my husband during that time I was driving back to the airport and that was the one time that we had to connect all week long because I was out of town and doing things. It was just super fun that he knew to look out for her and she knew to look out for him and our family and just that that connection could continue. It can be out anywhere.

Just put down your phone, maybe ignore your kids for a second as they're on repeat and look for other adults that are around and even better look for little kids for them to talk at each other. Sometimes that instead of to each other.

Same thing with my husband. He was at a winter barbershop and getting his haircut and he just was talking with the guy instead of just sitting there on his phone or whatever. And he ended up inviting him to come to one of his networking meetings. And the guy cutting his hair was like, Oh, hey, you should really talk to this other guy over here, you know, he can help you with like, whatever. And so, you know, just because he was having that interaction with this person who we just met, cutting his hair, you know, he now has a like a relationship with him. And they talk to each other about networking things and growing their businesses and you know, things like that. And so, you know, like I said before, I was like, you never know the influence that you're gonna have when you decide to meet someone and to take that effort to talk and to be open

and to let them be open back.

And what you're saying before being honest, not just saying, oh yeah, I'm okay, or I'm feeling good or, you know, whatever your standard answer is, like actually I'm having a little bit of pain because of this. Who knows, maybe you'll find out that they're seeing this amazing chiropractor that you need to go to or, you know, whatever.

Do you have any last thoughts as we close out?

Wow, well, I think that one of my last thoughts is probably to make sure that you have balance in your life. There have been different types of areas of health

that have been focused on in your podcast. Think that this podcast is focused on social health. There's been some about environmental health, emotional health, spiritual, financial, physical health. It's important as you go through life to make sure that you have a balance of all of these. As I mentioned earlier, they're all intertwined with each other. And if you're going through life and you feel like something is missing or off track, step back and just take an evaluation of yourself. What area is lacking? What do you feel is lacking in your life? And see if putting more focus or effort into that one area makes a difference in all the other areas of your health too.

We have one life to live and I know that all of us want to be able to enjoy it as best as we can. And so living a balanced and healthy lifestyle can definitely bring us to that joy that we all desire. And the thing is, you can look at all of this and be super overwhelmed. Like I have all these areas that I need to fix.

But like you were saying, if we focus on one area at a time, it will raise the other areas. And if we neglect one area, the other areas will drop down as well.

The point of this podcast, not just this episode, but the podcast as whole, is to take what you can take for that day and implement into your life or for that week or for that month and leave the rest for later and just keep doing that and you will continue to improve yourself. That is what this life is about is improving yourself. This is why it's called wellness because we are looking at the whole person. We're not just looking at do you look fit or do you have a ton of money or whatever the current trend is to be working on. It's all of these different aspects lead up to the total and complete you. Thank you for being on here.

Well, of course, I'm happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me to be on your podcast.

The National Wellness Institute asks these questions to get a better understanding of social wellness in their self-assessment. One is almost never, two is rarely, three is sometimes, four is often. Five is almost always.

I enjoy creating or participating in opportunities that contribute to a greater cause.

I regularly use my talent, skills, strengths, and natural gifts to help others in need.

I have safe, loving, supportive, and nurturing relationships in all areas of my life.

I protect and conserve natural resources to ensure a healthy environment for all organisms.

I am aware of and work to help resolve environmental issues in my community.

I feel connected to others and seek out new opportunities for social engagement.

On a scale of 1, low, and 10 high, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with where you are in this dimension?

I asked Kathe to give me some social wellness questions because she is the one

who I thought of first when I thought of interviewing people. It just took this long to get our schedules to align.

Her questions are, what are you doing to establish and respect personal boundaries?

What relationships are you developing that are meaningful to you?

What relationships are you neglecting that are important to you?

What ways can you communicate more clearly?

How many days a week do you interact with other adults?

How often do you feel lonely, sad, or depressed?

Thank you for tuning into an episode of Wellness in Every Season. We hope you enjoyed my conversation with Kathe Bates, a life coach specializing in relationships as we delved into the importance of social wellness.

We explored the critical role it plays in our lives and how it impacts other areas of our overall wellness. I hope you found Kathe's personal experiences and strategies helpful in enhancing your own social wellness.

Be sure to join us for our next episode where we'll be discussing occupational wellness with another special guest. Thank you for listening and until next time, prioritize your wellness in every season of life.

Thank you for joining our wellness discussion this week with Autumn Carter.

If you liked what you heard, follow me on Instagram @momswellnessineveryseason to keep up with the latest wellness tips for moms. Please share the podcast love with others by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want a topic covered in more detail or a free coaching consultation, please DM me on Instagram or

send an email through my website, I look forward to connecting with you. Please join the discussion next week.



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