As we start the new year, I find that I am surrounded by a few different kinds of "resolution-ers." There are the people who pick words to represent their hopes or self-improvements for the year ahead (I am in this camp). There are those who choose a resolution and really, truly work toward it. There are others who start out hopeful and then neglect them. There are some who say they don't need a January to start new habits. No matter where you are, you likely fit into one of these categories.
As I was reflecting on my own hopes for the year ahead, I noticed that I forgot something that should be a part of every year: connection. When we make sure that our goals only include "tasks" we miss something so important. Since the very word Konbit of "Konbit Collective" means "working together," we thought it apt to present connection for your New Year's consideration.
Maybe you heard it from Brene Brown, or maybe you've just always heard its "important" to have friends, but do you know why? Here are some fast facts:
-A strong group of friends is actually related to a healthier life, like a better functioning immune system, lower stress, and more. *
-With connection, you can lower your risk for dementia. **
-Socializing with others helps your mental health and helps you fight depression.**
-Friendships help you live a longer and fuller life.***
-Meaningful relationships can improve gut health and heart health. ***
No matter what way you slice it, relationships are important. And, it matters the kind of relationships you have, too. This might be a good time to go through your social media feed and see who is and isn't helping you reap the benefits of connection. Make time to meet up with friends once a week, or even month, to help shape some of the deeper relationships you want to have.
If you feel like you're in a bit of a connection rut (or burn out depending on how your holiday season went), here are a few ways to foster connection in this new year:
-Join a class or workshop, gym or religious group that you have wanted to join in 2020. As you put yourself out there, you'll make some friends with whom you can connect!
-Connect with your online crew. If you are a part of a membership that is mostly online, a Facebook group, or Mommy Blog loop, organize a meet-up! If you all live far away, you can still plan one for the year!
-Practice vulnerability. It does no one any good to be in a relationship when they are not interested in being open (ahem, preaching to the choir here). As a classic "walls are up" person, I have realized that without vulnerability and sharing, our connections can only go so far. If you are struggling, reach out to someone. This practice will help you connect deeper with people.
-Cultivate quality friendships and not just quantity. If you only have one or two connections, make them deep. There is no reason to feel overwhelmed at making a ton of friends. We only need a few to have meaningful connection.
We wish you a safe and happy start to 2020!