Feeling connected and that you are a part of something bigger than yourself is hugely important to your emotional well-being. Research has shown that again and again. Appreciating and nurturing relationships with friends, family, classmates, or coworkers will build the support network we need everyday and when times are tough. But the first connection we need to build is with ourselves. That way, we can support ourselves and be there for the people we love. Being authentic, finding ways to love ourselves more, and taking time for self-care isn’t always easy, but it’s an investment in living a life that feels good.
Quick Tips On Connected
Build Your Support Network
We often don’t dig into our true thoughts and feelings with friends or family members until we’re struggling. There’s power in being proactive and building your community by identifying the people you turn to—or would turn to—if you were having a hard time. You can also think about the people who turn to you when they’re struggling. Then you can reach out to your people and have conversations about how you can best be there for each other if things get rocky. What are the warning signs—like isolating or snapping back—that show up when you may need support? How do you like to be communicated with during overwhelming periods of your life? What can people do to help you feel better when you’re hurting? What doesn’t help? Having these conversations now will strengthen your support network and help you feel stronger.
Random Acts of Appreciation
Don’t wait for a birthday or holiday to express your gratitude and affection for the important people in your life. Whether it’s stopping by with their favorite coffee, mailing them a good old-fashioned card, or simply sending a text saying you love them, random acts of appreciation for your loved ones can have a surprisingly big effect on both their mood and yours.
Sit With Yourself
Meditation is a proven way to strengthen our relationship with ourselves. There are so many stories floating around in our heads about who we’re supposed to be, how we’re supposed to act, and what we should be doing with our lives. Disconnecting from that noise and clearing out some of that mental clutter gives us the space to see ourselves more clearly. Meditation is one way to do this, and the more we do it, the easier it is to connect to who we are and create stronger connections with the people in our lives.
Use Your Words
Imagine listening to a friend talk to you all day long, nonstop, seven days a week, without taking any notes about what they’re saying. (Maybe you have that friend.) It would be hard to get a sense of who they are, what’s helpful to retain, and what you should say back when they finally stop talking. That’s how the relationship with our own inner voice can feel sometimes and why journaling is such a powerful tool. It helps us remember the things we’ve learned, what made us feel good, and pitfalls that led to feeling bad, so we can continually grow and make choices that help us live our best lives. Your journal is a place to craft your own authentic story so it doesn’t get lost in all the plotlines around you. Get more journaling tips here.
Need Help Now?
If you or a friend are struggling and need to talk to someone, you are not alone. There are many free, confidential resources available 24/7.