A few weeks ago marked the one-year anniversary of our first official social hour event! Bust out the streamers and cake because this little baby deserves some love. And you know what? I do love it – I love the kinds of conversations we’ve had – the ones that have crawled into my head and made me pause and think long after the event has taken taken place. I love the positive changes I’ve made for myself. They‘ve been small and incremental, but long lasting and real. And I love the laughter and connections I’ve made with so many different people.
When I started this project I didn’t quite know what to expect. I just knew that I felt stuck — stuck in my bad habits and in my own overthinking head. It was a little bit like I was starting to tread water in my life and the terror of being pulled under was becoming unnervingly more real.
I knew I needed to do something but I didn’t know what: something fun and playful, but honest and real. There needed to be some connection, some humor, and some realness. I craved to have real conversations. There were some things I needed to figure out and I needed a space that I could be messy in my thinking. The SCSH became these things.
But I know it’s just the start. I’m excited for the future. It’s my hope that from the thousand and one ideas I have floating around in my head, a few of them can come to actual completion.
I’m thankful to all of you who have participated in this project, supported it, and collaborated with me on it. I know it’s with you that the Self-Care Social Hour will reach more people in more meaningful ways in the next year to come.
In an effort to “step up the social hour game” here is the strategy for the next year or so:
Goal 1 — Expand the depth and types of social hours:
The majority of social hours have been fun and light-hearted with a few little dips into more depth, but I would like to organize more events that are either more hands-on in nature or focused on more in-depth topics. Some experiential/hands-on ideas could include: participant driven how-to’s (gardening, spa take and make goodies, healthy eating, etc.) or field trips to places like a Japanese-inspired meditation garden. In-depth topics could look at self-care focused on professional or mental health or could take on a book-club format
Goal 2 — Learn from a more diverse set of individuals, groups, and experiences:
Previous social hours have been limited geographically (and demographically) and informal on topics. I’ve found them fun and meaningful, but I’m curious to talk also with people who have not been in the first year of meet-ups.
This goal includes holding “focus groups” with different themes/audiences and to widen the geographic scope of the project. Here are the groups SCSH will work more closely with in our 2nd year:
- Youth (K-12, college-age, and mid-20s)
- Parents (new and expectant parents, mom/dad focus)
Goal 3 — Create more resources for people to access online:
As more feedback, insight, and research is gathered, SCSH will work to create user-friendly resources to help plan and implement events as well as participant reflection guides for in-between meet-ups. Sign up on our email list below to get a free download of the draft SCSH planning guide.
I would love to hear from you — especially those of you who have joined in on this project one way or another. What do you think? How do you want to be involved?