If I ask my kids if they are connected, they will likely point to the number of Insta followers or Snapchat friends they have, and sadly most adults are no different. For me, it’s about live human beings, and sadly, as my family and my business have grown, I have found myself more and more socially isolated.
And I’m not alone. I work with high achieving women all over the world, and this is a common theme that arises – as our stress increases our opportunities for connection are the first things to go – we cancel date night, the girl’s night disappears, the girl’s reunion trip to Nashville …..forget it.
We think we are being selfless when we give up on our opportunities to connect, but the effects are more harmful than you may realize. Studies have shown that a lack of social connection is more detrimental to our health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. It leads to anxiety and depression. And, if you are reading this and nodding your head because you relate, know you are not alone – 1 in 4 Americans say they have no one in their lives who they can confide in.
I’ve been watching my social connections slowly slip away for a while – so last year when I was asked to identify one word that I wanted to lean into for 2019 - the word that instantly popped into my head was connection. I chose this word because I need it. I live in a remote town, with no family around, I work from home, and I spend more time with my dog than with any other humans (good thing he is so damn cute!).
3 Steps to Improve Connection:
1) Join a new community.
Find something local and accessible, and join up! Maybe this is your local church, your PTA, a book club, or a volunteer opportunity. Me, I’m joining a woman’s Pickleball league! I already know my knees are going to ache from it – but I don’t care, I’m excited to hang out with some more ladies in my town.
2) Look at what you already are doing and make it more social.
Don’t rush out the door at the end of each meeting – schedule 10 minutes on the back end so you can connect with that co-worker you’ve been meaning to get to know. I go to yoga twice a week, and I used to always rush in and rush out, giving a quick wave to my girlfriend who takes the same class. Now, we walk our dogs for 30 minutes together before class, and carpool to and from. It’s awesome!
3) Get away from social media.
That’s right, get off now (I do get the irony that you might have found this blog via social media). Studies show that spending more time on social media platforms actually increases feelings of isolation. So, if you are going to go there, be intentional – limit your time on it, and rather than hit the like button, actually leave a comment. Studies have shown that passive social medial use depresses us!
One more thought…
Connection is such a key piece to what I am thinking about these days that it is now something I am working on, a lot! To that end, I have created an amazing online community, A Moxie Tribe, dedicated to bringing kick ass moms with big ass jobs together, electronically and in person. My goal, while connecting us all, is to support your careers, your parenting, and your happiness. It’s not quite ready for primetime yet, but it will be when we launch on September 3rd. In the meantime, go here to join our waitlist to receive priority enrollment and pricing.
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