Earlier this month I was in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. with seven girlfriends I’ve known since high school. We call ourselves the “Jersey Girls” and over the years we’ve shared good times and bad, countless phone calls and visits, and lots and lots of laughter. In fact, I still laugh out loud every time I think about all the fun we had. It was soothing, it was inspirational, it fed my soul. Oh, and did I mention it was fun?
I’m sharing this because in this hectic and often harsh world of ours we often forget the importance of doing things that contribute to personal well-being. Things like connecting with yourself by knowing and doing the things that feed your soul. Connecting with friends who care about you and accept you just as you are. And connecting with others by volunteering your time or expertise.
I was at a point where I needed some downtime. And having allowed myself to take it, I now feel smarter, more energized, and much more prepared to face whatever I need to. I highly recommend you do the same.
Here’s how to “connect” your way to wellness:
Take care of yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Just like you need to put your oxygen mask on first if you’re flying with a child, you need to take care of your health, your rest, and your basic needs in order to be able to do what you need to do for your family, your job, whatever. Know what soothes you and do it!
Connect with friends. And make it in-person connections versus posting on their timeline. Facebook and email give us the illusion that we’re keeping in touch, but nothing beats the in-person, eyeball to eyeball, love-the-sound-of-your-laughter kind of connection. Trust me. This one’s a priority for me.
Schedule a 3-hour window with no meetings. Do your days turn into meeting mania? Schedule a block of time where you are unavailable and can focus uninterrupted on work you need to get done, or just spend some alone time to reconnect with yourself.
No meetings after 4 pm on Friday. This should be a no-brainer, and yet there are those who still schedule, or call impromptu, meetings at 4 pm on a Friday. Change that by just saying no. Obviously there are times when it’s an emergency need. But for the most part, it’s just poor planning!
Be “present” with your family…and friends. When you’re with your family and friends put the phone away. Email, text, and the newsfeed can wait. Your loved ones want to see your smiling face and not just the top of your head. Put the phone away and allow for a real connection.
Give back – to your team, to your community, to your favorite charity, to others. Doing good for others helps you feel better about yourself and may improve your health. In a Canadian study, 85% of volunteers ranked their health as “good” compared to only 79% of non-volunteers.
Now start connecting! You’ll be glad you did.
Till next time,