5 Ways to Stay Connected & Renew Relationships
Do you take time to check in with loved ones regularly? Not everyone is great at staying connected with others, even during times such as the pandemic when we need connection most. Yet we all need it.
Connection is one of our universal core human needs. As human primates, we are hard-wired to seek relationship with others. When we don’t have that, disconnection can lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness, depression, and even despondency. This has had dire consequences for people’s mental and physical health during the pandemic.
Equally important is our need to connect with ourselves, especially when many of us feel stressed and distracted by all the many demands in our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, hardly stopping to catch our breath — let alone taking the time to ask ourselves what we need. Yet making space in our lives to care for ourselves has tremendous benefits that can help sustain us through difficult times.
Our connection with ourselves is intrinsically tied to how well we connect with others and our ability to care for them. So make time to stay in touch with those you love, and to connect with yourself deeply, on a regular basis. Here are simple ways to check in and connect.
- Send a text: “How are you doing today?”
- Make an offer: “What day can I drop off dinner for you?”
- Suggest an activity: “Want to go for a walk tomorrow?” or “This movie is streaming! Want to do a virtual movie night?”
- Practice self-care: “I’m going to take a bath and journal before bed.”
- Check in with yourself: Ask: “What do I need right now to feel safe? Loved? Nurtured? Calm?”
Check in with yourself regularly throughout each day. Giving yourself permission and time to listen to your body, mind, and spirit, and permission to give yourself what you need, can make a big difference in your sense of well-being.
One of the best ways to do this is by practicing mindfulness. Making time to connect with yourself in this way allows you to pause and observe how you are feeling and being. From there, you can make positive choices to uplift yourself and others.
The pandemic has given us new inspiration and taught us new ways to stay connected, Try setting up a reminder on your phone or computer to make connecting with others and yourself a part of your daily routine.
So join a support group. Have a glass of wine with someone. Join a book club or learn a foreign language. Look at the things you have been putting off until “tomorrow” and do them now.
Whether you go big and plan an event, or go small and just say “Hi,” showing you care matters. People feel that caring, and it can make a difference for them. So will you, when you take the time to compassionately care for your own needs.