Happy Friday – How was your Thanksgiving? Can you believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone? Now that Thanksgiving is over the “Mad Rush” begins. Many of us have already created a myriad of lists that outline gifts to buy, parties to attend, activities to complete, and the “to-do’s” go on and on. We spend our days, and well, most of our nights trying to complete the myriad of tasks that will in the end, we hope, provide joy, excitement, happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and others; “the perfect holiday”.
Stop; what is wrong with this picture? Isn’t holiday time supposed to be a time of intentionally connecting with and cherishing people; those we care about, family, friends, neighbors, etc.? If we pause and really reflected on how we are spending our time, I think we would realize that much of our time is spent being “stressed out” interacting with lists and not truly cultivating connections with others.
Now, I am realistic, and I do know that there are many items that must be done to create a nice holiday for those we love. I am not suggesting that we should not have that as a goal. What I am suggesting is that one of the top items on our holiday “to do” list be “making a concerted effort to truly connect with others”.By making this a priority, maybe, we will realize that deepening our connection with others is the secret sauce that has been missing; the very thing that will truly bring happiness.
I recently came across this “little known fact”: we are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days when we spend 6-7 hours with friends and family? Our social support networks are vital to our survival. If you are not able to spare the amount of time noted above, even just looking at photos of loved ones can give us a mini-happiness boost. So, keep those important memories nearby for whenever you need it. Better yet, continue to create memories this holiday season by spending time connecting with others and snapping a photo or two 😊.
Remember - life’s biggest lessons, opportunities and gifts are found in your connections with others. Have a great day and a great weekend.