The Power of HUMAN CONNECTION
fun things To do with your girlfriends this summer
Tips On How To Reconnect With Yourself And Your Friends.
Crawling Out Of the Cocoon To Be A Social Butterfly Again
As we all begin unmasking, many like myself are eager to reconnect with new and old friends. The power of connection of friends is so important. I will share 18 fun things to do with your friends this summer.
I feel like we are all crawling out of our cocoons and becoming social butterflies seeking connections and touch. There are so many reasons we need to reconnect- backed by research. That doesn’t mean it is easy to do.
There is so much to catch up on. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. I feel like I lost a year, maybe because I feel like I lost track of time somehow?
Without designated events, family reunions, traditions, travels, and celebrations, the past year has been a big blank blob.
I mean, before the lockdown, my weekly schedule consisted of a handful of recurring activities, obligations, and other plans.
Without these markers, time was hard to track. One thing we know for sure is that we were not connecting with our friends like we were used to. So how do you find your new normal again?
Finding Your New Normal Again
Now that our schedules are filling up again, we want to plan to get-togethers with friends and family. Being social doesn’t feel the same as it did before Covid, even for the outgoing types like me.
If you have kids, you have most likely noticed that your children, no matter what age, may feel a bit socially awkward at times.
Think about it, they have been in their safe pods for over a year and haven’t had the opportunity to go to school and socialize the same way they did before Covid.
I keep hearing from parents that their teens or younger kids forgot how to reach out to new friends. Pretty hard to do normally but more difficult with masks on.
Wearing a mask has been a difficult barrier to social interaction with no ability to see any facial expressions. Hiding behind the mask….
My social life hasn’t been much better, but it is getting there. We can now break out of our small safe social circles and get back to reuniting in our natural friendly ways.
"Reunited And It Feels So Good"
The song “Reunited and it Feels so Good”, runs through my head all the time as we watch families and friend reunite on television and social media. It brings a smile to my face.
Have you seen some of the new brand advertising campaigns that are making “connection” themed? Advertisers are capitalizing on the positive vibes we get reconnecting with good friends.
For instance, Wrigley’s Extra Gum produced an ad that speaks directly to those missing some physical touch. “For When It’s Time”
Wrigley’s humorous commentary resonates with me and those who felt the emotional effects of a lack of physical contact in isolation. I don’t know about you, but I am a big hugger, so not being about to hug loved ones was extremely strange and painful.
The Importance Of Physical Human Touch
Physical human touch can directly affect health in many ways. A study conducted by the Journals of Gerontology concluded that “more frequent physical touch is significantly related to a lower likelihood of subsequent elevated inflammation and illness.”
Humans communicate through a physical touch more intuitively than we realize. It’s not surprising that physical contact is a basic human need with emotional, mental, and physical benefits. From the moment babies are born, they cling to their mama’s to suckle and rest.
Human connection is the form of touch that bonds at the heart of our familial, social structure and is a vital tool of survival.
After one plus year of chaotic isolation and separation, the Harris Poll uncovered that 75% of Americans miss seeing friends and family, and 67% miss in-person celebrations, such as graduations or birthdays.
Of those polled, another 50% of people missed hugging friends and family, 50% miss having in-person conversations, and 42% feel a lack of connection with others.
With Depression And Anxiety On The Rise- Connection Is Crucial
Let’s face it, rates of depression and anxiety have risen to unprecedented levels. A new study found that Depression is up at least 41% this year, and a prominent symptom of depression is social withdrawal and isolation.
People who are depressed don’t feel like engaging with others, which is problematic because social support is exactly what they need.
Reconnecting With Yourself Is Essential
With that said, many of us are working hard to reconnect with ourselves again. Reconnecting with yourself is essential. It’s a perfect time to push that restart button.
I know it sounds silly, but sometimes it’s an excellent idea to look inward to see how YOU are doing. It’s a first step in the right direction coming out of the difficult time we all experienced in the last year.
Ask yourself these important questions:
- What am I most excited about in my life now?
- What am I most happy about in my life now?
- What am I most proud about in my life now?
- What am I most grateful about in my life now?
- What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
- What am I committed to in my life right now?
- Who do I enjoy spending time with right now?
- Who makes me happy? Why?
- Do I like my job? Is it fulfilling?
- What’s my purpose?
Tony Robbins outlines that there are Six Human Needs: certainty, significance, variety, love/connection, growth, or contribution. These needs explain why each one of us is the way we are and why we need to pay attention to each one of these needs.
Let's Get SOCIAL!
Okay, now that we have reconnected with ourselves, let’s get reconnected with the friends and family members we love.
As the societal demand for physical reconnection this summer is pulsing through our society, we are starting to realize and remember how much connecting with people feeds our souls. Social media just doesn’t cut it if we want to have a good time with our network of friends.
Research Shows Women Need Female Connections
“Research shows that women, need to maintain friendship connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT.
This hormonal surge can compel women to “tend and befriend,” a.k.a., to protect their kids (if they have them), but also to connect with other women.
Need more scientific research that shows why women need female friendships. See the 5 scientific reasons here. Bottom line, women are happier when they are connected with gal pals.
What To Do With Your Girlfriends To Reconnect
Let's Enjoy This Summer With Our Girlfriends. Here Are Some Ideas:
1. Invite A Friend To Go On A walk: I love walking with my girlfriends. It’s incredible how fast time goes when you walk and talk and catch up with a friend.
2. Wine Tasting: Get out and go wine tasting. Sit outside and enjoy sipping on a good bottle of Rose or other refreshing chilled glass of wine.
3. Plan A Pickleball Party: Invite some long-lost friends to a simple game of pickleball.
Fun, social and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. It was invented on Bainbridge Island WA! So cool!
4. Plan A Girl’s Getaway: There is no better way to re-connect with friends than going on a girls trip. I know what you’re thinking—impossible, right? Wrong! Make it a road trip on hop on a plane for a weekend away.
5. Paddle Boarding: Get out on the water and go paddle boarding. I guarantee you lots of giggles and belly laughs.
6. Reach Out: Easy and old school. Send your friends an email/text lets them know you’re thinking about them. It’s a great starting point to plan some time together.
7. Go Shopping: Plan an afternoon of window shopping, boutique, or vintage shopping. You know the kind of day you lose track of time and stop for a glass of wine along the way. Thrifting together is always fun too!
8. Coffee Date: Step away from the office and schedule a midday coffee date with a friend—it’ll put a perk in your step throughout the day. There’s nothing better than catching up with old friends!
9. Go For A Hike: Plan a long hike and bring a picnic. It will be a fun adventure.
10. Spa Day: We all have been craving a day of relaxation and massage. Just plan it!
11. Picnic At The Beach: The beach, some wine and snacks and time with friends is never a bad idea.
12. Host A Brunch: Breakfast club with your buddies!
13. Berry Picking: It’s berry picking season, go out and pick some berries and then bake a pie or make a nice daiquiri to enjoy together.
14. Garden Tour: If you appreciate a lovely garden, look for a garden tour near you and grab your “soil sister” to go with you.
15. Festivals or Concerts: Now that concerts are being scheduled again, go and and enjoy an outdoor.
16. Game of Golf: My favorite! Grab a golf gal and go play 9 or 18. I love playing golf with my friends. Always fun to chat, get some exercise and enjoy a cold one when we are finished.
17. Game of Tennis: Match play! Go
18. Kayaking- I went kayaking with a bunch of my girlfriends at Lake Tahoe and it was so much fun!