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Have you guys been feeling chaotic lately? I’m a working mother, and I notice that most of the time, busy, working adults are pretty isolated from social activities. Especially working parents. Oh yes, we may be surrounded by co-workers, clients, patients, students, and family all day long. But that time when you truly let your hair down and be YOU is pretty limited when you always have to be ON. This chaotic time of life is difficult sometimes. Right? And women thrive on connecting through interpersonal relationships. Having someone understand us is paramount to surviving this exciting time in life. Without it, feelings of loneliness and disconnect creep in, creating a sense of separateness and isolation when we are surrounded by people all day long.
There’s a simple and obvious solution to our feelings of alienation. Connecting with the right people!
Try peeking your head out from under the chaos today. Try any number of these tactics to reach out and connect with another soul. Don’t have a lot of friends who understand what you’re going through right now? Introduce yourself to someone new. It may be scary to put yourself out there, but it is so worth it. Step outside of your comfort zone and see how you grow.
1. Connect with long-lost friends
Do you remember a lost friend from the past that you were once tight with? Reach out! You can find almost anyone on Facebook these days. Rekindle that great friendship. You have history and that’s a great foundation for a relationship. I always love when an old friend finds me and I get to see what they’ve been up to. Try being the first one to reach out to them.
2. Foster the relationships you have now.
Do you have friends now that you should be investing in a little bit more? That’s the best way to start. Nurture these current relationships. Send an occasional text just to let them know you’ve been thinking about them. Pick up the phone during your commute for a check-in. Or hell, hide in your closet from the kids for a few quiet moments on a weekend to connect with an adult on the phone. Plan a girls night at a spa, a lunch date or a fun night out. Feed the relationships with the people you already know and love.
3. Plan a dinner or night out with co-workers.
Do you like the people your work with? I sure do. Organize a dinner or night out to connect with these peeps, that you are with all day long. You MAY not have a ton in common with this group, but it’s a great time to get to know your co-workers on a social level. It’s a good way to check out a new local restaurant or happening
4. Join a Facebook Group
I LOVE Facebook groups. It’s a great way to connect with other people while working towards similar goals. The support, sharing and lifting up is truly inspirational to me and I get just as much out of these groups. I am amazed at the friendships that are formed each group and the support that happens when times get tough.
5. Book Clubs
Think you don’t have time to be in a book club? You do if your book club members are cool. The women in our book club understand that working mothers may not have time to finish or even start the monthly books. They don’t care. They know we love reading and do our best. Last year I purposely didn’t read our book for 7 months while I focused on my yoga studio. I still came, had food and wine and connected with our amazing group. We keep our group closed and have formed tight, supportive relationships that have gone beyond our monthly meetings.
6. Stitch and Bitch
This is my one other scheduled social night every month. Each month we have a casual Stitch and Bitch night at a girlfriends house. It’s small and casual. I’m fortunate that almost all the women are mommas, so I can get some advice about figuring out what I’m doing. We all bring our own food so we don’t impose on the host. We all bring a craft, and will actually sometimes get to it. Then we craft and bitch, bitch and craft and actually feel a little productive while spending some needed girl time.
7. Walking lunch dates
I LOVE this. Once a month my good friend and I have a standing walking lunch phone date. She’s in PA and I’m in CO. It’s in our planners and we stick to it. For two busy women, this keeps us up to date with each other’s lives on a consistent basis. The key is getting it into your planner and sticking to the schedule. (Honestly, she’s horrible about keeping in touch and this was the only way to make her regularly connect.) 😉
I like to walk during my lunch break. I embrace the sun and relish the alone time. But sometimes I also invite a friend to come along so we can spend some time together and catch up. It’s always a casual adventure. The sun, the friend, and the walking is always a trifecta of happiness.
8. Connect with your partner
It seems like most of the time my husband and I work our butts off all day, make it home in one piece to cook dinner, parent the kids, spend a few minutes together at the end of the day, then head to bed. Our partners are our best asset, and we really need to foster that connection. Schedule a monthly date night and stick to it. Connect with them during the day. Even when we’re super busy, my husband and I call each other at lunch, and at the end of the day. Everyday. Even if we don’t have anything important to talk about we still chat just to connect. It makes me feel like I see him more.
9. Make a connection in Yoga Class
Nothing makes me happier than seeing yoga students connect in a yoga class. That’s why I have a yoga studio! Chances are, you have A LOT in common with your fellow yoga students. Reach out from your mat and connect with the person who is frequently in your class. You’re both seekers. Connecting with a fellow seeker will not only make you feel connected, but with foster your own growth in yoga!
It can be very difficult maintaining relationships as an adult. It does take effort, but if you have the right people supporting you, they will understand how hard friendships can be with so many demands on our lives. I recently had a friend who ghosted me because I didn’t have enough time to devote the attention she needed. I couldn’t provide what she needed, but looking back, maybe I should have been clear about what I had to give in a friendship.
Have a conversation with your people. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Help them understand that you do care a lot about their lives, but that your free time is limited right now because of parenting, job demands or introversion. If they can’t understand that right now, then maybe it’s time for a little breathing room. You need BALANCE and support in your life right now.
Women thrive on connection and relationships. We consider ourselves successful if we are surrounded by people we love and a tribe we know has our back. We can survive anything with the right partner or a strong group of girlfriends. Take the time to connect in any way possible with your loving people, and make sure you offer your support as well.