Importance of relationships and social health

Published in personal growth, on Feb 11, 2021

Having positive, high-quality relationships is the single most important factor to your long-term well-being and the quality of your life.

The three impediments to social health are:

  • The Daily Demands: Your boss is calling, the report needs to get done, there’s no milk in the fridge, your child is crying. Who has time to call a friend or family member in the middle of this never-ending chaos?

  • The Technology Temptation: Our addictive devices call to us, begging that we check what that little buzz in our pocket meant. They tether us to our work, the news, and strangers who we don’t actually know.

  • The Future Fallacy: We push off connection because we think that some day, once we’re through this project/event/stressor, we’ll be able to spend time with our loved ones. But that day never comes.

How to beat the daily demands:

  • Be present. We are more likely to feel overwhelmed when our attention is split amongst multiple tasks. When we feel overwhelmed, our brains won’t let us take anything else on, even if it really matters to us. That’s how we end up putting off coffee with a friend or calling your grandma for the 10th time. When you’re doing a task, be fully present for that task. This will help you to feel like you are more in control of your day’s demands.

  • Block off time for connection on your calendar. In the same way you would prioritize a visit to the gym or your therapist appointment, set aside time for connection with loved ones. If it’s a priority, make sure that is reflected on your calendar.

  • Find double-duty activities. One of my favorite strategies is to use my daily walks as a time to reach out to people. Whenever I have a phone call scheduled with someone, I grab my headphones and walk until it is over. What other activities could you layer connection onto? Get creative with it and play around until you find the double-duty activities that work for you.