(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
Wake to alarm. Start the day earlier than desired. Work later than planned. Grab something unhealthy to “get by.” Go to bed. Repeat. Does this scenario sound familiar? Unfortunately, it does for a lot of folks. It doesn’t leave much room for truly important things, though, does it? Like quality family time, a nutritious meal, a regular fitness routine or any time for reducing stress.
Throughout the crazy workweek, it’s incredibly important that we find ways to connect with others and take care of ourselves. Although time is often limited, there are a few things that can be said to or done with one another that can truly make an impact. It’s not about the quantity of the time we have – it’s about how we’re using it.
Consider our 25 ways to connect in a busy world.
- Volunteer your spare time doing something you love that makes a difference in the world.
- When planning your schedule, write in some time with someone special and stick to it.
- Leave or send a meaningful note.
- Meet for coffee before the workday begins.
- End the day by writing down words of gratitude.
- Embrace for 20 seconds when saying goodbye for a truly impactful connection.
- Be direct: “I care.” “I appreciate you.” “I love you.”
- Don’t forget about those who rarely get visitors, like the elderly neighbor or the grandparent in the nursing care facility. Make plans to visit and absorb their wisdom.
- Make time to prepare a healthy meal with someone.
- Commit to a regular fitness routine that makes you feel empowered.
- Counter No. 10 with a stress reduction routine that allows the body to rest.
- Make sure that you are happy with your career. There is nothing worse than spending your days filled with dread.
- Focus on the quality of what little time you have, not the quantity.
- Establish a tradition that gives everyone something to look forward to.
- Become familiar with the positive chemicals that are released during exercise.
- Ground yourself by connecting to nature as much as possible.
- The Vitamin D that sunshine offers can do wonders for our overall health. Be sure to soak up as much as possible throughout the day.
- If you have young family members, plan family slumber parties that bring everyone together for movies, snacks and laughter.
- Remember that it’s not all about you – genuinely asking about someone else is one of the best ways to show you care.
- Visit the local Farmer’s Market to not only “buy local,” but to connect with community members in a new way.
- Mentoring youth is a great way to make a difference not only in the life of someone today, but the future of someone tomorrow.
- Consider your skills and assets and then find a way to use them for good.
- Ban technology for a weekend and get creative about ways to communicate without a device.
- Share the busyness together: Finish your paperwork, while your teenager completes homework; make dinner together; exercise together; or even commute with someone, sharing the responsibility of driving.
Ask intentional questions while spending time together: Is there something that made you happy today? Did anything upset you today? Where do you wish you could be right now?