Reflection: A friend and his wife did the dishes together every night. As she washed and he dried, they shared their news of the day, chatted about the kids, and sorted out plans for the days ahead.
Once they got a dishwasher and started taking turns doing dishes, they stopped talking. That simple shared habit had been their daily connection point.
A participant in a program recently told me that he and his wife tended to spend their evenings on their respective phones – physically present, but mentally absent.
They’ve made it a practice, every few days, to take an evening drive together and leave their phones behind. He says the conversation and connection in their lives goes up when they make time for shared adventures.
Last week, my husband and I picked up three coffees and took them to the viewing stands to squeeze in coffee and a visit with our very busy daughter while together we watched our grandson playing hockey.
In today’s nonstop world, it’s easy to grow distant from those we care about – occupied as we are with the minutiae of life and the lure of social media. Relationships suffer when we can’t find ways to stay in touch with those who matter in our world. And, that’s beyond unfortunate.
Research shows that strong relationships help us live longer and happier lives with fewer health problems. And by the way, it’s not the number of friends you have, or whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but rather the QUALITY of your close relationships that makes the difference.
Action: So, think about those who matter deeply to you and what actions you might take to stay more deeply connected. Don’t let those relationships lapse and wane. Reach out in whatever ways you can as often as you can.
- Use a speaker phone to chat while doing mundane tasks like unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry.
- Call someone on a hands free phone while you’re on a long haul drive.
- Invite a friend to ride along on a road trip or an outdoor walk so that you can catch up with each other on the move.
Be creative! Stay connected! Reap the rewards.
Quotes Of The Week: If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? – Stephen Levine
In the end there doesn’t have to be anyone who understands you. There just has to be someone who wants to. – Robert Brault.
Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet we can often forget just how crucial our connections with other people are for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. – Mental Health Foundation
The people in your life who don’t need an invitation still like to get one. – Robert Brault
Resources Of The Week: Check out Greenberg’s article, Do Relationships Make Us Healthier & Happier?
Robert Waldinger’s classic Ted Talk (What Makes A Good Life?) with its lessons from Harvard’s longest study on happiness is definitely worth a watch.
News: If you’re in or near Saskatoon, drop by and see our Artists Workshop group in action and shop the marketplace at our upcoming Open Studio Day. It’s Monday, November 26, from 11 am to 9 pm at 505 – 10thStreet East. Spread the word, mark your calendar, and see you there!