Sure, it may sound outlandish, but salons are fantastic for your health. For a handful of reasons but let’s start with the most obvious: Salons connect you to your community. And connection makes you happy.
Harvard Medical School has been conducting an 80 year-long study of what makes us happy. And they’ve concluded that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships in the complex fabric of our neighbors, family and friends, has a big effect in our overall health.
To have a sense of belonging within our own world, within our community, equates directly to happiness. As active members of our community we are relevant. We have a role, we have a sense of belonging. Hosting a salon really ups that feeling of one’s role in a community. It’s connection. And we all need to feel connected.
Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, has said the first lesson you can take is that “social connections are really good for us and that loneliness kills.” Did you read that? Loneliness kills. “It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community are happier, they’re physically healthier and they live longer than people who are less well connected,” he said.
“Our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships, with family, with friends, with community.”Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist at HMS, said in his TED Talk.
Let’s replace screen time with people time. Think about how much our ability to organically participate in community has been decimated by 2020. Now is the time to reclaim that essential aspect of self in relation to others by gathering your tribe imperfectly but generously. Why not invite them over and have a conversation?
According to past POSTHOC salon guest Dr. Robert Lustig from UC San Francisco, there are 4 components that go into the science of happiness. Can you guess what they are? They all begin with the letter C.
Connect (literal IRL face time to trigger empathy), Contribute (not giving $ but effort for non-personal gain, for the benefit of family, friends or the world at large.) Cope (meditate, exercise, sleep, turn off phone. You might do this before you host a salon, for example.) and Cook (for yourself and friends).
And what do you do when you host a salon?
Connect: A room filled with curious people who by now are likely starved for meaningful human interaction.
Contribute: The gathering, the salon, is a contribution to your community. Hosting and feeding your community is an act of loving service.
Cope: Almost impossible to have a gathering and NOT allow some time for oneself prior to gather one’s thoughts. A run, a 20 minute meditation and a solid night’s sleep will all help ground you before stepping fully into the role of host and facilitator.
Cook: If you host a salon, we bet you’ll do just a lil bit if not all of the cooking. Maybe you order in food, but you make a salad to go with it and/or some delicious cocktails. Cooking doesn’t have to be perfect, and if you know you can’t or simply don’t like to cook, then by all means let Trader Joe’s cater a pre-made dinner for your salon. You can express your love through food just by plating it up nicely and serving it with smile.
In the wake of our social fabric being decimated by COVID, we now have the opportunity to reunite the complex network of our neighbors, family and friends who make life worth living in the first place. After what we’ve just lived through over the past year, doesn’t it feel especially meaningful to reunite our communities around fascinating and important topics? So what are you waiting for? Head over to our hosting how-to guide to learn everything you need to host a downright life-affirming salon for you and your most alchemic group of friends.