There is much to be said about how we seize these moments to connect with family during a global pandemic. Every call, text, email, snail mail, social media post, zoom conference, or visit is simply priceless. What I know for sure is that human interaction and engagement are essential. We all are learning how to be strategic in our human connections. The human connection transforms anxiety, loneliness, and disengagement.
A recent Cigna survey revealed that nearly half of Americans always or sometimes feel alone (46%) or left out (47%). Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that they are isolated from others (43%). One in five reports that they rarely or never feel like there are people they can talk to. The Cigna study also reveals that loneliness is at epidemic levels in America. Connections are important because loneliness is a major obstacle to experiencing happiness and well-being.
Family engagement is an important step in overcoming the crisis of loneliness. It seems so trivial to encourage the family to pause life to play a board game, take a ride, or conference call with grandma. The truth is that these simple steps create memories that last a lifetime. It does not matter how much money, fame, or privilege you have. We all need meaningful connections.
Take advantage of the obvious reasons to connect, such as holidays, birthdays, and special events. However, don’t miss the magic in the spontaneous opportunity to let your family know how special they are to you. It’s a simple text, ride to the store, or walk around the neighborhood that is a platform for family engagement. Put down the electronics and open up the conversation. It’s amazing what you will learn.
After 25 years of marriage, I’ve learned the importance of deep family connections with both sides of the maternal and paternal family members. We stand on the shoulders of those family members who have paved the road we walk on. The more we can get to know the sacrifices made by family members, the more grateful we become for the journey.
As we close up 2020, it’s cliché to say these have been trying times, so instead, we can embrace all the lessons learned and the precious people who are apart of our journey.
What I know for sure is that God gives us all 24 hours in a day, 168,000 hours in a week, and 365 days a year to build meaningful relationships. So let's connect!