By Jennifer Reif
I’m not one who needs research-based evidence to appreciate the value of making and maintaining social connections. I experience it during daily phone chats with my sister, weekly dance classes, walking in the woods with my kindred spirits, and the myriad events hosted by TEND. Rant and Rave is one such event that has proven to be surprisingly rewarding and delightfully engaging. This quick check-in time provides a safe space to share joys and sorrows, achievements and annoyances.
Let’s be real. It’s wonderful to celebrate our successes. Many of us take great pride in our kids, jobs, gardens, pets, and travel. Yay us! It is wonderful to be in that happy place. At the same time, we’ve all got issues. Genuine relationships include sharing both the ups and downs. Sometimes it’s nice to have a sounding board that just listens. Women often ruminate rather than speak out. Expressing negative feelings can be viewed as socially unacceptable. And sometimes we find it awkward to tell the world about the really awesome things that we are doing and experiencing. Rant and Rave seems to strike a healthy balance.
Many of us intuitively feel the benefits of daily connection. For those of you who are interested in the supporting research, Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported that “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.” Friendship and connection are vital to our happiness. For many women making friends as an adult can be challenging. This is especially true if you have moved to a new city, experienced a major life change, or are living during a pandemic! TEND events (in person or online) provide a way to make those connections and build relationships. So, if you need a safe space to gripe, or you want to share the joys that are flowing your way, please pop in. We are here for you with ears wide open. And, I have a feeling it will help us all live a longer and happier life!