However, I think we can all agree that the things that matter most aren’t really things at all. No matter how many possessions you accumulate, how many adventures you experience, or how many accolades you acquire, nothing can replace the lasting relationships you build with the people you love most—your family and friends.
We have created a little guide to help you be present with your family and friends and build those relationships one moment at a time.
1. Choose Your Energy
When you get home or you walk into your friend's home choose to shed your annoyances that stem from work or the incessant holiday music that started November 20th (I am writing this during Christmas). Try and imagine the next part of your day as a fresh start and bring fresh energy to it!
Going in with a good attitude can make the difference between being irritated by every misstep of your company and truly enjoying your time with them!
2. Share Your Gratitude
Something as simple as saying (out loud) that you are grateful that you can spend time with your daughter or expressing the gratitude that you have for your aunt's hospitality can really go a long way in connecting with the people around you. Take a moment out to share a couple of things that you are grateful for and you may find that the atmosphere changes! I know this can sound a little corny, but you can say something as simple as " I am so grateful that you invited me over for New Years" to really connect.
3. Share a Memory
Sometimes it can help to take a trip through time and share a memory. For example, you can tell your children your favorite holiday memory you have from growing up. Or you can reminisce about the junior high days with your friends over coffee. Sharing memories is a great way to let the other person see that you are trying to connect with them and bring up positive emotions.
4. PUT DOWN THE ELECTRONIC DEVICES
I know that this is a tough one! If you get anxiety from having your phone away from you for even a second, consider putting your phone on...silent! Revolutionary, I know. However, when you get used to avoiding the Pavlov-esque notifications, you will find it easier to put your phone down and walk away. Even when you aren't charging it!
Not spending every second looking at your phone or checking for notifications can help you to be present. At the very least, the people you are with won't feel ignored and unappreciated. NOT scrolling through Instagram may force you to engage in a conversation about ponies with your niece or the themes of friendship in your book club. And guess what? That is a good thing.
5. Keep Your Promises
Give your family and friends your word that you will be present for a certain period of time and stick to it. That means no phone (see above) and no canceling unless it is an emergency. When you’ve made the agreement, follow through. When you say that you are free for the afternoon you really have to mean it. Not just physically, but mentally. Whether it’s a major family vacation or a simple shopping trip, schedule time together and enjoy.
Bonus: Accept That You May Fail Sometimes
We aren't perfect all the time. Allowing yourself forgiveness is an act of self-love and it will help you to realize and learn from your mistakes. Accepting that there is room for improvement will enable you to recognize your mistakes and do better the next time.
Super Bonus: Wear a piece of jewelry as a reminder to remain presentYou can use African turquoise as it represents growth, awareness, and positivity. Wear your bracelet as a daily reminder that African turquoise attracts love, encourages acceptance and channels positive energy.
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