Don’t we all long to feel connected? To be amongst friends, to talk to likeminded people, for human interaction? In this digital world we live in we can have hundreds of friends on social media but still feel alone. Technology has brought us many benefits but it has also been blamed for increasing social isolation.
However technology has also facilitated the ability to find and assemble with diverse groups of friends, based around shared interests – people you may not otherwise have found if geographically limited, so it has expanded our horizons. The key to really living well and enjoying the moments is to be conscious of how you spend time with people, rather than being on digital autopilot. Mindfulness is a big factor for a rich life.
Here are some practical ways to keep your most treasured connections alive, with easy tips that you can do today.
Use social media to your advantage
Create a family Facebook group and share one thing each week about what you are up to. This way the family keeps in touch with those little daily things that are otherwise lost in our busy lives.
Organise your time
If you find that you start the day intentional and productive then seem to lapse into passive activities (scrolling Twitter for example) when you need a break, set yourself an alarm to go off at regular intervals to keep you focused. If you ring fence your time into productive and non productive slots, you can actually schedule some necessary downtime where you are not being ‘switched on’ so that in the periods where you do need to perform, you have the mental capacities to do so.
Send personalised cards
Use online personalised greeting cards services as a way to remember everyone’s birthday so you are being a good friend and you never miss an important occasion again! You can even go in and choose a card and message then arrange to post it on a certain date and set reminders for future events, so your actual administration of the years’ birthdays is done in one go and your thoughtfulness expands throughout the year!
Stop the technology
Have a tech free coffee morning where everyone agrees to put away their phones for an hour and talk! Being present for your friends and really ‘in the moment’ helps deeper conversations to evolve.
Go back to snail mail
If you read a magazine article about something a friend would love, tear it out and post it rather than text or share socially. We all love to receive something nice in the post but so few of us actually do it and who doesn’t like to receive nice mail?!
When preparing the evening meal, use it as a chance to chat to your kids about their day. Everyone gathers around the kitchen anyway when they are hungry, so use this necessary activity to become a rich moment to connect!
Clear your mind and meditate
Try regular meditation. It is a skill that you develop over time and it becomes easier the more you do it! But regular meditation helps to quiet the mind and give you the mental space to handle life events in a useful way rather than a reactionary knee-jerk way. Just set aside 20 minutes every morning or evening – whatever time works best for you, and you will see the benefits after just a few sessions!
Tell us in the comments how you keep connected with your friends and family!