This Christmas, we want to give the gift of connection.
Throughout December, we’ve focused a lot on making sure we’re reaching out and getting in touch with the people around us. Once you’ve done all this planning, organising and reaching out, what about the the actual conversation, the moment of connecting itself?
Connect More Deeply this Christmas
It can be hard to connect with people you don’t know very well. Sometimes it can be even harder to connect deeply with those closest to you. It’s easy to fall into standard patterns of communicating with people we’re comfortable with. We often confuse connecting with talking.
Take advantage of the merriment of Christmas to explore some deeper connections in your communication.
Take small talk to real connection. In connection everyone can contribute, and their voice is heard. Naturally ideas are surfaced and this creates greater energy and engagement. This isn’t a time to offer solutions or advice. You don’t need to immediately fix problems that arise. The process of connecting in itself is a positive force.
Fundamental to connecting, is for you to focus on listening. This will push you to ask better questions. Dive deeper, what is the second or third question you can ask on a particular topic?
To come full circle in your exploration of connection, be sure to acknowledge what’s been shared. Make those around you feel seen, heard and appreciated for their honesty.
CREATE space, time and support
GROW positivity and energy
The Christmas period also comes with high expectations. Perfect, whole and happy families, exciting holidays, extravagant parties and luxurious gifts. But many of us do not have Christmases that look like this. Research commissioned by The Salvation Army shows that more than 2 million Australians will feel socially isolated during the festive season.
These high expectations can exacerbate feelings of pressure, isolation, lonliness, finanical stress or family conflict. This can make the festive season a very stressful time of year.
Elderly Australians are even more susceptible to feelings of sadness and isolation, and Christmas time can really intesify these feelings.
The same is true for those who have recently lost a loved one, and feel their missing presence even more in this time of togetherness and celebration.
Tips to Connect this Christmas
Here are our tips for giving yourself the gift of connection this Christmas:
- Check-in: Use technology to your advantage and check-in on your loved ones online or over the phone and chat about your iyarn.
- Connect: Listen deeply and ask the 2nd and 3rd question to dive deeper with one another.
- Reflect: Reflect on how you are showing up to those you care about. Think about the conversations and interactions you have had over the past couple of weeks. How are you using your words? Are you being kind on social media? Are you available for friends who may be struggling?
- Take action: Make plans for things that you enjoy, ensure you schedule in activities that allow you to have quality time with loved ones and even just yourself, such as going for a walk or do meaningful activities together like lending a hand to a local charity, get involved in a community event this Summer.
Be sure to reach out to your mates and have a yarn with the people around you this holiday 🎄 If you’re stuck on how to check in with friends, check out our article for some great tips.