Connecting with people enriches our lives. Genuine connections – with others, ourselves, nature, animals, God – promote well-being and mental wellness. Building healthy relationships can give us a sense of belonging and purpose, offer stability, boost happiness, and reduce stress. Making a positive connection can help us to feel safe, supported, and valued.
Strengthening connections is a choice we make. There will always be a post to read or an email to answer. Muting our device to be present for a few moments of undivided attention with someone we care about can be the difference for us and for them. Our most important investment is our time.
So, let’s challenge ourselves to connect – to be present, smile, laugh, and continue building relationships. A few moments of focused attention is all it may take to make a connection.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we share ideas to connect.
As a class, group, or family:
· Talk. Make time to talk and share throughout the day. It can help to use a conversation starter. Here are some ideas: “one thing that made me smile today was…” or “something I’m looking forward to this week is…” or “on the weekend I enjoyed…” or “I am grateful for…” or “my favourite memory from yesterday is…”
· Try the GLAD strategy. Invite everyone to share something they are grateful for, something they learned, something they feel like they accomplished (even small like making a bed!), and something that delighted them (made them laugh, smile, feel joy). · Do the 2x10 strategy. (SMHO link: https://smho-smso.ca/fw/self-awareness-and-sense-of-identity/mattering/2-x-10/) Spend two minutes per day for 10 days talking with someone about anything they would like to talk about.
· Play the connection web game. You will need a ball of string or yarn for this game. Start with everyone in a circle. Choose someone to go first. This person will hold the end of the string or yarn in one hand and the rest of the ball in their other hand. They will say something that they like, such as “I like dogs” or “I love pizza”. If someone else in the circle has that in common, they will say “connection”. The person with the ball of string or yarn will keep holding the end and throw the rest to the person who has the “connection”. The person with the ball of yarn or string will hold a piece of the string or yarn in one hand and the rest of the ball in the other. They will now say something that they like. The process repeats until everyone is holding a piece of the string or yarn, creating a web between everyone in the group.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How will I make a connection today?
What relationships need my focus right now?
What moments of connection can I invite or create for myself and others each day?
Connecting to our faith:
God made us to connect and the Bible shares many lessons about why connections matter. Meaningful, healthy relationships – with family, friends, those in the community, ourselves, and God – are fundamental to meeting the challenges of life with the hope of Christ in our heart.
"Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives." (Pope Francis)
CLASSROOM ACTIVITY: Connecting https://smho-smso.ca/fwsecondary/healthy-relationship-skills/being-a-good-friend/connecting/
CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Show and Share” (9th activity in “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home”) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf
CHILDREN’S BOOK: “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst