Wednesday, December 7, 2016

5 Ways to Connect This Holiday Season






Hey there, besties!  I hope life has been treating you well so far this week!  As for me, I admit I'm feeling a little frazzled with all that's going on and all that's coming up.  I really need to take my own advice and focus on:  one thing at a time, ME a little bit, and connecting with my loved ones.

So today I want to share 5 ways to connect with those you love over this especially busy season.  Take what works for you and leave the rest, but know this:  we NEED people.  Whether your frame of reference is Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (FYI, Maslow was a psychologist who said that our need for love/intimacy/connection comes right after our need for safety/food/water - so yeah, pretty important) or your own experience of how you feel after spending quality time with people you love, there is no doubt about it:  connection with others is crucial to our well-being.

1.  Make a holiday decoration or ornament with kids.  Kids just LIGHT UP this time of year.  And I don't know about you, but to me, their joy is so contagious.  Spend time with kids doing kid stuff. Whether you're a parent or not, you surely have nieces or nephews, cousins or friends' kids you could spend some time with. There are an actual billion ideas for decorations/crafts/ornaments on Pinterest, so you shouldn't have trouble with that.  A word of advice:  keep it simple.  If there's one thing that's great about kids, it's that they are equally impressed with an applesauce & cinnamon ornament as a fancy schmancy  professional grade ornament.  They just care that you're there, spending time with them.

2.  Bake a holiday treat and surprise a neighbor with it.  This is something I do with my kids every year and we all love it.  It's kind of perfect because it's a random act of kindness AND a connection with someone who lives near you.  There's something cool about doing something nice for someone who isn't expecting it.  And you will feel all sorts of happy when you see the smiles on their faces when they see you standing there with a plate of delicious treats.  Bonus points if you also sing Christmas carols.

3.  At dinner, everyone at the table shares something they love about everyone else.  Whoever you live with, even if it's just you and a pet, share the love!  Actions may speak louder than words, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't say the words.  In the words of James Taylor, "Shower the people you love with love."  This time of year and always.

4.  Slow down and snuggle up.  Put on some cozy PJs and snuggle up with your kids, your love, or your pet.  Or all of the above. Something about physical touch just makes the connection we have with others so palpable.  Pop some corn, have some cocoa, maybe put on a movie, or better yet, just talk to each other.  Look more at faces and less at phones.  These are the moments we will never regret making time for.  Seriously...everything else can wait.

5.  FaceTime (or Skype) a loved one far away.  Is there someone you won't see this holiday season but you really wish you could? FacetTime or Skype them!  It's the next best thing.  And for some reason, I always forget it exists.  I usually just call or text.  Think of someone you haven't connected with in person in a while and surprise them with a face to face convo.  Stop worrying about how you look or where to look (seriously...am I the only one whose eyes dart all over the place on FaceTime?) and simply enjoy the next best thing to being with someone in person.

I hope your holiday season is filled with joy, love, laughter, and all the good things life has to offer us.  I hope when it's all over, you look back at this month and smile because you spent your precious time on what is most important...those who are most precious to us.

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