Connections are the bedrock of life. Nourishing. Fulfilling. Enjoyable. Engaging. Supportive. Of course, they can be challenging, too. All manner of complications, conflict, and resentment can be caused by miscommunication, misunderstandings, disagreements, and dysfunctional patterns — not to mention the pressures of everyday life.
It’s not hard to see why. People coming together is a meeting of minds — different people, different ways of thinking, and different sets of values, beliefs, and ideas rooted in very different childhoods and life experiences. While holidays like Valentine’s Day might well be a celebration of love and romance, they also present a great opportunity to go inward and do some self-work with all relationships in mind: your spouse, partner, relatives, friends, and colleagues, even yourself.
This month we’re taking a look at connections. Starting with ourselves first — obvi. Then moving to relationships, communication and lastly in these times of weird, weird social interactions we’re diving deeper into the importance of connections and why we should cherish and nurture them.
Can’t wait to virtually connect with all of you this February!
February 28th — we made it — together! Thank you for joining us in our month of Connection. We know it’s been a difficult one. There’s something about February that has us feeling a bit lost but we hope that these weekly check-ins have been valuable and helpful through the winter slump.
To wrap things up we wanted to remind ourselves of the importance of connection and the proper ways to go about filling up our tanks.
After all, there’s a ton of scientific research that says almost nothing is more important to your well‑being than connecting with other people. Friends offer support in times of stress. They boost our optimism, confidence, and willingness to try new things, plus they’re great buffers against anxiety and depression.
And it’s hard, we get that. Not everyone is blessed with the gift of gab and for many of us the thought of “putting ourselves out there” is very unappealing.
But let’s start with the basics.
Strengthen your weaker ties: You know those acquaintances you have at the gym, or dog park. The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort to cultivate these low-stakes relationships. Often it’s just exchanging pleasantries when you see another regular in the elevator (put your phone down and make eye contact!) or seek them out for connection on social media. You don’t have to become besties, but having a meaningful chat beyond just a chin nod, makes everyone feel good!
Nurture your active friendships: These are the friendships you’ve already put in the work for. The ones that you DON’T flake on plans with. You share similar interests and values and you usually leave a hangout feeling energized.
When we start to identify these different types of relationships we can choose where our energy goes and just how much of it we want to spend. A quick chat while you both walk to the bus isn’t a huge investment and it’ll feel much better than putting in your headphones and pretending you don’t see each other.
Often when we think of living a balanced life, we focus on two things: work and family. But a truly balanced life really has five key components: It should also include our romantic lives, self-care (including exercise and hobbies) and our friends. While we may not always give all five areas equal time (a new baby or a work deadline can sometimes shift our life balance), in general, work, family, love, self-care and friends are all equally important. Connections by definition CONNECT us. And like all the best things in life, they take some work to maintain and flourish.
We hope that you continue checking in with your friends, family, community and most importantly, yourself. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but girl, this connection between you and you — that’s forever.