Hello there lovelies! I hope you’re doing well these days. Can you believe we’re already half-way through July? The summer’s in full swing, but it definitely hasn’t been the average one. Personally, I’ve been itching for a relaxing getaway these past few months – but it wasn’t meant to be this year. So instead, I’m trying to spend as much time as possible in my favorite local parks and gardens. Even though I can’t get away, it’s a blessing being able to soak up the serenity and beauty easily accessible to me.
Something else that’s helping me make the most of this unusual summer has been maintaining my sense of community and connection. Practicing social distancing has changed a lot about my daily choices and interactions… Particularly while navigating through pregnancy. It’s been tough adjusting to not seeing close family and friends the way that I’m used to. So finding new ways to stay connected has been crucial these last few months.
Our relationships play a vital role in both our mental and physical well-being. In fact, research shows that a good relationship is a bigger predictor of our longevity than obesity or smoking. So maintaining healthy ones is really important. But, of course, this can get complicated to manage during seasons of change and unexpected circumstances.
If you’ve been having a hard time keeping meaningful connections over these past several months, you’re not alone. We’re all still figuring out how to adjust to this new, and constantly changing, reality of life in the midst of a pandemic.
So for today’s post, I wanted to share a few tips that are helping me stay connected with family and friends in a healthy way these days. Below are 4 relationship habits that I’m trying to practice even more than usual lately. If you could use some ideas or inspiration in this arena, definitely keep on reading!
1. Set boundaries that feel right for you.
During particularly stressful periods, our energy and capacity to hold space for others often changes. So even though you’re probably at home more than usual lately, keeping in touch with people can still feel quite overwhelming.
Think about the types of interactions that you’re craving right now. What’s the most meaningful way you can connect with someone else today? Once you have an idea of this, you can focus on setting up plans that you’re actually up and available for.
A few things to consider when coming up with meaningful ways to connect are: the amount of time and energy that you actually have right now as well as what feels like a safe and comfortable way to do so.
If you don’t have the energy to chat for 2 hours, let the other person know you can do a 30 minute (or shorter) conversation instead. If you’re not ready to try meeting up in person, let them know that you’re not up for that yet – but you’re happy to have a virtual coffee date.
Whatever boundaries you decide to set, remember to stick with them. That’s the only way that they’ll actually work!
2. Take time for yourself every day.
These days, you’re probably seeing a whole lot of certain people (the ones you live with) and not much of anyone else. It’s definitely challenging to navigate close relationships when it feels like you have no space for yourself.
So setting aside at least a few minutes of quiet time each day is extra important right now. Taking this time gives you the chance to recharge and focus on yourself for a little while.
Carving out the time isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. It could be while you’re drinking coffee in the morning, taking a quick walk in the neighborhood, or even while you take a shower. Whatever time you can carve out, make it intentional. And try doing a little something that makes it feel extra good.
Personally, I love lighting a candle right before I hop in the shower. It’s a small detail that has a big effect for me!
3. Take advantage of technology.
Most of us aren’t meeting up with our friends in person lately. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still see each other.
Technology offers us more opportunities now than ever before to connect with one another. Video chatting and voice messaging in particular are two great options for engaging with loved ones in a way that feels a bit more real.
Of course, there’s nothing like being able to give someone a hug and truly sit in their presence. But using the other avenues available for the time-being can go a long way in helping you stay in touch and still feel close to your favorite people.
4. Join online communities and attend virtual events.
Another thing many of us are missing lately is gathering with larger groups of people.
Whether it’s a celebration, conference, class, support group meeting, or another type of event you planned to attend – it’s probably not happening in person right now. And, of course, that’s disappointing. But again, technology offers us the chance to make the best of this frustrating situation.
If you’re missing having that connection with a wider community, you can participate in one virtually. Joining an internet group or forum, signing up for an online class, and attending meet-ups via zoom are all ways you can engage with more people during this time.
It’s definitely not the same as meeting in person, but you can still create those meaningful connections. And so many organizations are offering new opportunities to do so these days. It’s worth taking advantage of them.
Bringing it all Together
This is a strange time in the world and many of us are experiencing some effects of feeling disconnected and isolated. Something I’ve personally realized is that I need people and that sense of support even more than usual lately. I also need extra quiet time to process all the news and changes that I’m constantly adapting to. It’s not one or the other, rather it’s both that are helping me navigate through this time. Could it be the same for you too?
Finding the right balance is going to look a little different for each of us – because each of our situations is unique and nuanced. Taking the time to figure out what works for you could make a big difference in how you experience this current season though.
So what type of connection are you needing these days? And how can you go about cultivating it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below this post or in an email!
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.