It’s been an intense week for Americans. The country has been increasingly on edge as we have traveled the long, bumpy emotional road towards this presidential election. I think many will agree this process has taken a significant toll on people. The word I hear repeatedly used in conversation to describe this is exhaustion.
One of the antidotes for exhaustion is meaningful connection. When we connect with others it reminds us that we are all in this life together, which can provide a feeling of inclusion as opposed divisiveness. Whether your candidate won or lost, it is important to remember that we are all human beings living on this planet, doing the best we can with the opportunities and tools available to us. Connecting with others reminds us that we are all in this together and helps us to feel less alone and vulnerable.
If you are feeling burnt out or exhausted by what we have just gone through, make time this week for meaningful connection with others. Here are some simple ways to make that happen.
1. Sit down for a meal with friends or family in which you make a conscious decision to talk about things that lift you up, positive topics that instill hope.
2. Spend time outdoors with loved ones. Time in the forest has been shown to be beneficial to overall health. If you can’t get to the forest, don’t worry. Just being outdoors is a healthy change of pace.
3. Pick up the phone and call someone that you love. Be intentional about telling them how much they mean to you and the ways in which they have impacted your life.
4. Get together with people and laugh. Go see a funny movie, play charades, have a rowdy and lighthearted game night. Laughter has been shown to increase meaningful connections and be of benefit to mental health.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brene Brown