While the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day,” “holy” itself comes from the Old English word “hāl,” which meant to be whole or complete. The holidays provide the perfect opportunity to notice and nurture your whole health — body, mind and spirit. That includes meaningful social connection and time with others. In the spirit of love and togetherness, we have some suggestion for ways to invest in the relationships that benefit us immensely.
Remember the reason for the season.
During the holidays, it's easy to get lost in the chaos of social gatherings and forget their deeper purpose: the chance for us to take a break from everyday life and spend time with loved ones. Interpersonal relationships — the way we connect socially, how we stay involved with one another — have a powerful effect on our well-being and can lead to a longer, more fulfilling life.
Relationships of various kinds, especially with our close friends and family, help us navigate our world, overcome obstacles, make the best of things, celebrate big and small wins, and enjoy the moments that make life so sweet. Whether our relationships are in great shape or in need of a little repair, spending quality time together will help each of us grow to be better friends and family members to those we love.
Interpersonal relationships, the sixth pillar of our CREATION Health model, lay the foundation for all other pillars. When we master the art of relating and creating healthy relationships, our whole health benefits. Relationships touch all these elements through their positive effect on building self-esteem, inspiring trust, and providing a strong support system.
Here are some tips for improving your communication this season:
Take a break from technology.
Face-to-face communication plays a big role in fostering your relationships. You can pick up a communicator’s message more accurately with help from nonverbal cues.
Sometimes we forget how lucky and loved we truly are. Take advantage of time together and be present with your friends and family. Connecting in the moment, not distracted by other things, allows us to be empathetic, which means we have more to give to and receive from our relationships.
A little goes a long way.
Intimate relationships help fulfill your life in the most meaningful ways. One simple act of kindness could be just what somebody needs during this time of year; simply asking someone how they’re doing can be enough.
This season, be present and take advantage of time spent with friends and family. If we think of our relationships as living, growing things that have to be nurtured, we’ll get more out of them then we could have ever imagined. It takes energy to build and maintain meaningful social connections, but the work we put in comes back to us tenfold as we strengthen our own network and one another’s.