French Girl Secrets To Wellness

Wellness seems to be a loaded term these days. At its worst, the wellness industry encourages unrealistic diet or lifestyle changes. Which, lets be honest, only adds more stress and anxiety to our lives. The very things were trying to avoid on our wellness journey.

However, at it’s best, wellness can mean optimizing your health, daily routines, and finding joy in everyday moments. This is the approach we take at WOW. And this article, written by our founding editor, is dedicated to making space in your day to experience joy.

French Girl Secrets to Wellness

While living abroad in France, I noticed the remarkable vibrancy of the European women I met. Glowing, fit, and witty, I often wondered how French women seemed to flow through their day with an effortless sense of determination and grace.

They knew what they were doing and where they were going. Yet, they always had time to stop and say hello, sit down for lunch together, or grab a cup of coffee. They all seemed to possess this je ne sais qouis attitude about enjoying meals and conversation together.

How French Girls balance wellness with vibrant careers

I often wondered how these women had the time to dine leisurely together everyday. All while managing to lead vibrant professional careers.

french girl professional style

My wonderment came to an abrupt halt when I got home from the states. Because sadly, this type of work life balance just didn’t seem to exist in America. Here, it seemed that productivity took priority at the expense of all else.

As I entered the work force after law school, I noticed women would not leave the office for their lunch break. They wouldn’t even leave their desk.

“I’ve got to get caught up”

they would tell me.

“I don’t have time to take my break today”.

they said.

All I could think was, is this life?

Is this really what I’ve gone into debt and worked so hard to achieve?

The epidemic of eating in front of a screen

Apart from the obvious downsides of enjoying less and less of each day as we confine ourselves to corner offices and computer screens. I began to ponder the greater repercussions of spending most of our time in front of a screen.

Turns out, not only is eating at your desk, in front of the computer, or on the run, not fun. It’s not good for you either. 

But don’t take our word for it, Harvard Medical School recently updated their post on the health benefits of having strong relationships. The results are unsurprising: 

Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.

Harvard Medical School

So how exactly does connecting with others impact our health?

For one, strong social connections can help reduce the harmful effect of chronic stress by providing a strong social support system. This means you don’t have to carry the weight of something stressful all by yourself. 

“Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”

Harvard Medical School

In Paris, having immersed myself in the home of a Parisian native, I observed the joy with which my house mom would host social gatherings.

From making family dinners every night to hosting birthday parties and celebrations. Meals were a time to enjoy each other’s company by sharing stories and passions and in turn, garnering empathy and wisdom. This meant meals were occasions to look forward to.

Where you could share your stories of the day and listen to what others were up to in the great city of light. 

When we don’t take the time to enjoy everyday moments together, we miss out on time we could have built valuable social ties and strengthen our connections.

“…a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality.

Harvard Medical School

The simple joy of enjoying a meal together

If I learned one thing from living in France, its that gathering around a dining table together can be more than just nourishment for our bodies. Each meal has the potential to be nourishment for mind, body, and soul.

french social connections

At the table, we share stories, build upon relationships, learn from each other’s mistakes and triumphs, and create bonds that define us. Bonds that cannot be replicated over internet apps or text messages. 

Thus, while the food you are eating plays an important role in your overall wellness, who you are eating with, and the conversation you are taking part in, has the potential to benefit every aspect of your wellbeing . We’re talking emotionally, physically, socially, occupationally, spiritually, and intellectually. Making the later just as, if not even more important than the meal itself.

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