Here we are almost at the end of January! We always tried to plan a time to get away sometime in the winter when our son was young. It’s important to have time together and something to look forward to. Over the years, we have spent time in the Florida Keys, the east and west coasts of Mexico, and places like Vail or Copper Mountain, Colorado, for skiing. We have had some really wonderful times being together and have some great memories as a result.
I am convinced that one of the most important factors in well-being is our sense of connectedness to those around us – family and friends. In the book Wellbeing, by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, the authors chronicle the five essential elements that studies have shown over time to be universally essential to a sense of wellbeing. These are: Career, Social, Financial, Physical and Community Wellbeing. I will talk more about all of these in the future but for today I want to note the importance of having strong relationships in our lives – both family and friends. It’s not always easy to do, especially given the mobile nature of our society. I’ve called Colorado home for more than 25 years, but I grew up in south Florida and lived there for many years into adulthood. I realized the importance of having close relationships – a sense of community – when we moved to a new place and I found myself feeling somewhat lost, without any familiar faces or long-time friends. I knew very few people here and I wasn’t going to run into old friends from high school or work here – there weren’t any! It was a brand new place and it took me a while – quite a long while – to feel like I was home.
Fast forward to the present day, and this is home to me now, and much – most – of that is due to the community I have built here. I’ve made wonderful friendships here, great memories, my son was born here and has gone to local schools, and we’ve developed a shared history with those we’ve come to know. Just as important are the relationships we continue to have with family and friends in different parts of the country, and even other countries. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with those we care about, wherever they are. And those connections, it turns out, are essential to our wellness, our sense of wholeness. Maintaining connections has been more challenging over the last two years with concerns about the pandemic, but they are just as important as ever to maintain, maybe more so. Scheduling a weekly family call over Zoom or with friends can help us to keep those connections steady and close.
When you look back on the special times in your life, they almost always include other people. Our relationships strengthen us and give us positive energy. Invest in them – everyone involved will benefit!
Coaches Action Step: Schedule a weekly dinner date with those close to you.
Whether it’s with a significant other, friend, or family member, take the time to make the relationship a priority and share a meal together.