How online communities can help you stay strong right now
Your routine is in chaos, your cycling classes are cancelled (sometimes) and there’s no one to laugh at your uncoordinated yoga poses. These are still stressful times, but that doesn’t mean you should shut the blinds and cut off all contact with the outside world.
Staying active, engaged and in touch can help you beat down stress, boost your health and feel less alone. But how do you connect in a time of self-isolation and social distancing?
By sharing your journey with a like-minded community… online. The Emily Skye FIT Facebook community has been an amazing source of positivity in recent months – if you’re a FIT member, be sure to check it out.
Yes, social media CAN be socially healthy. Now is the time for online communities to really step up – offering support, replacing negativity with uplift and isolation with togetherness. If you’re determined to keep up your fitness, they’re also great for giving you a kick up the butt! Let’s take a look at the positive benefits of online communities when social distancing.
1. Make it meaningful
Shocker, we know, but the internet is not all memes and people yelling at each other. Meaningful conversations are taking place and even creating inspiring movements – just look at the people playing free Instagram mini-concerts from lockdown, or the response when comedian Celeste Barber asked people to help with the Australian bushfire crisis.
If your gym is off limits, you’re probably wondering what that means for your 2020 fitness goals. FIT is full of workouts you can do at home. But when you join the program, it’s not just Emily's team who has your back – you have a worldwide community there to encourage and motivate you, give you tips on form and equipment, and praise your amazing results (trust us, the results will come!)
Seeing a group of people still working towards their health and fitness goals while enduring the same crazy circumstances you are is the spur you need to keep pushing and come out the other end of this thing fitter and stronger. And hey, this could be the perfect time to take Emily's Booty Challenge and grow that well-rounded peach!
2. Stress less
We humans are tribal by nature – a sense of connection and belonging is key to our happiness. When we don’t have that connection, loneliness can lead to anxiety, depression, a loss of confidence and even increase our risk of physical illness. In the face of coronavirus, finding ways to combat stress is even more important, because stress suppresses your immune system. Maintaining relationships and social interactions online will help you stay upbeat and strong.
3. Find your tribe
Just because you can’t do brunch or go on exciting international adventures right now doesn’t mean you can’t gush about food and your favourite Spanish beach with your peeps. The internet is full of people sharing the things they enjoy with like-minded geeks, ravers, craft enthusiasts – you name it! Fitness is no exception.
It can be tough to track your progress when you’re working out at home alone, and who do you ask when you’re wondering which weight kettlebell to buy? Comparing nutrition notes, asking for technique advice and taking on challenges together in a supportive online fitness forum like the FIT community can be the difference between giving up and staying on track. Plus, it’s just more fun to work out when you know you’re part of a team!
4. Safe and supportive
From group chats for pregnant women to support groups for cancer sufferers and their carers, the internet has become an essential support network for many. A 2018 study found that a depression forum on Reddit improved the mental health of its members – that’s because online communities like these create a safe space to discuss problems, find solutions and take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone.
5. Help others, help yourself
People use Facebook in so many different ways. We’ve noticed a surge in strangers willing to help each other out! Social media can help neighbours come together to find a good babysitter, swap clothes or, especially now, help elderly residents who are running low on essentials such as milk and toilet paper.
Take comfort in these feel-good pockets of the internet or spread your own acts of digital kindness: send an email to your grandparents to check how they’re doing, share a funny video or highlight something inspiring and hopeful amidst all this bad news.
6. New friends!
Hey, if you can swipe right to find your future husband or wife, you can find friends online too! From fan forums to parents’ groups, there are so many shared interests and goals out there that connect people. The FIT community is full of “accountability partners” – members turning to each other for that extra push to stay on track. A post from member Amanda who put it perfectly: “I have found this online community of amazing women who support and empower me by sharing your own journeys, goals and failures, and remind me everyday that I'm not alone.”
If you’re a member of Emily Skye FIT, don’t forget to join the Facebook community – share your highs and lows, and remember that you are not alone out there!
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