Most of us want to spend more time with the people we care about. And a lot of us are wondering where we’ll find the time to do it. At the end of a long day, social media can feel like an easy way to stay connected, but it’s not the only kind of meaningful connection that we, as human beings, need. We also need face-to-face interaction, whether it’s going for coffee with a friend, or even a quick exchange with a colleague at the water cooler.
So how do we connect when we’re already so busy?
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This need for face-to-face interaction is rooted in our physiology. The positive effects of meaningful social interaction have been published in loads of studies. The quality of the relationship we have with others determines how happy we are, how healthy we are, and can even tell us how long we are going to live. Studies now show that people who have strong social connections tend to live up to 15 years longer than others who are not as socially connected.
This is not to criticize the time that people like to spend in solitude purposely. Everyone needs their alone time. For example, I like to get up earlier in the morning than everyone else in my house and do my meditation practice. That’s different from being lonely. The loneliness I’m talking about is when someone is bereft or feeling lost in their loneliness.
So, what are some of the ways we can connect with our friends and family without adding to our already hectic schedules? Below I share my top-10 list of not-so-big-steps that we can take to stave off lonely, create relationships, and in general, grow our own happiness! These ideas are specifically for busy, tired people who want more human connections in their lives.
10 Easy Ways To Connect
- Puzzling: The reason I love doing jigsaw puzzles is because it gives me something to do with my hands when I’m sitting around a table with others.
- Play Cards: It doesn’t have to be a hard game, it can be short and sweet.
- Grab a Cuppa: Go for tea or coffee, or if you’re a drinker, grab a pint at the pub. It’s not a massive time commitment, and it’s a great way to have a quick bond with someone.
- Make Food With Someone You Care About: I believe that home-made food is better for you because it’s made with love (and way less preservatives).
- Potluck: I’ve talked about this one before. It’s a simple way to have a nice meal with your people.
- Awesome Soup / Supper: Another low-commitment meal that has high value with a bunch of us hanging out & having a good time. I make a ginormous pot of soup and send out a group text to say Awesome Soup Sunday is On! My friends now know they can just show up for a quick bowl of soup and take off.
- Craft: This is for the more creative types. It’s not my forte, but I do like to have one of my best friends over to help me make cards and then deliver them around the neighbourhood.
- Baking: Put together some cookies or a loaf of bread. It’s another low-commitment way to spend time together, and when you’re done you get to enjoy a snack made with love.
- Picnic: Get outside, get into nature, spend time with friends, share some great food, and get some exercise.
From my home to yours,