In these busy times, we can sometimes feel a bit disconnected from our loved ones. Some of us may even feel a little alone… Because I’ve been so busy lately, I have to admit that I’ve let a few things slide, and spending quality time with my family and friends has been one of them. So, it got me thinking about how I can build that deeper sense of connection with my family and close friends. I made a list 🙂
Following are a few quick tips to enhance that sense of connection…
1. Respect yourself
We have to love ourselves before we can love others. Respecting yourself and having certain standards you will accept from those around you can be the first step towards forming a connection of mutual respect with those around you.
2. Respect others
Appreciate the good in your loved ones and treat them with the respect they deserve, even if you don’t always like their behaviour.
3. Listen up
Pay attention and be truly present when you’re with your loved ones. Put your phone down or look up from the computer when they’re speaking to you. This makes them feel important, which of course, they are!
4. Eat together
Enjoy a meal together with your family or friends – without the interruption of technology, i.e. turn off the TV, phones, computer, etc. Yes, this is a challenge, but it can be done!! 🙂
5. Pay it forward
Do a favour, buy someone a coffee or do a favour for someone you know, or even a friendly stranger, without expecting anything in return. Ask them to do the same for another person.
6. Get back to nature
Enjoying a walk on the beach, in the bush (forest) or perhaps just visiting your local park, can help you feel invigorated and reconnected. Personally, I enjoy digging me toes into the wet sand at the beach. There’s something about doing it that makes be feel really grounded 🙂
Flashing your pearly whites makes you and others around you feel better. Try it!
8. Express gratitude
Be grateful for your blessings. I kept a gratitude journal for many years, and it’s something I think I need to start doing again. It certainly helps you focus on all the good things you have in your life.
9. Use your manners
Say please and thank you. It’s basic stuff but is so often overlooked. Those who work in hospitality, retail and customer service really appreciate it when a customer says thank you!
10. Practice empathy
Imagine how it would feel to be in the other person’s situation.
11. Say it!
Tell someone how you feel about them. If they’re important to you, let them know it. Don’t assume they already know. You never know when it will be too late.
Hug a friend who is suffering or may be feeling a little down in the dumps. A good hug can work wonders. When was the last time you gave or received a great hug?
13. Set a positive example
Being a role model or mentor for younger people in your family or community is a great way to form a stronger connection with them.
14. Be a local
Support local businesses in your area – the people who own and work in those businesses are your neighbours and potential friends. All small businesses need your support.
15. Show up!
Turn up where and when you say you will – and be on time.
16. Remember, you’ll be old too, one day
Smile and acknowledge the elderly – they are so often ignored and it makes them sad.
Remember birthdays and anniversaries – send a card or give a small thoughtful gift. Facebook messages are OK, but it’s so lovely to receive a card in the mail these days, isn’t it?
18. Offer to help
Your friends and family may be in need of babysitting, cooking, cleaning or whatever is helpful. Sometimes just sitting down and having a cuppa and a chat can be the best therapy.
19. Love your kids
There’s no stronger connection than the one you can have with our children. Spend quality time with them whenever you can,and tell them you love them, even if they’re teenagers! 🙂
20. Love your parents
Call your Mum … or Dad – they love to hear from us and this is something many of us neglect. Sadly, they won’t be around forever.
21. Keep in touch with your friends
When your life gets busy, keeping in touch with your friends requires a little bit of effort, but it’s certainly worthwhile. Catching up with friends can be so amazing, especially if you’ve been missing out on what’s happening in their lives. After a good catch up, feeling that sense of connection again, I often tell my friend (and myself), we really must do this more often. Life sure would be boring without our friends!!
Make new friends, but keep the old – One is silver, the other is gold.
Do you have a tip on building a strong connection with those around you? Please write it in the comments box below. Thanks! 🙂
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