“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
This has been a tough and heart-wrenching weekend for a lot of people. Tragedy has a way of stepping into our lives when we least expect it. And we frequently need to lean on other people to help us get through. No one should have to go through life alone. If you have a list of people that you can call on when you want or need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, it makes life a whole lot easier. Life is even more fulfilling when you have special people with whom you can share your victories (and defeats) and with whom you can create cherished memories.
So today, I want to take a little time to encourage everyone. I know that this is a blog and will be transmitted and shared through social media avenues, but I want to encourage each of you to get in touch with your lives, the people you care about and the people who care about you. Both IRL (in real life) and on SoMe (social media).
Here are a few ideas and suggestions about how to establish and keep contact with others to maintain an active support system:
1. Talk to family members. You remember them, don’t you? They are the people who ask you what you are doing on-line all times of the day and night. Promise yourself that you will talk to 2 people in your family each week. Whether you’re communicating to a sibling or an extended family member, make a personal decision to phone, Skype or visit 2 family members per week.
Why? Because family members are often our biggest sources of social support. Consider people in your family as part of your social network.
2. IRL activities. Keep steady “real time” contact with your good friends. Have you noticed your phone and face-to-face time with old friends has decreased since you’ve started walking around with you face plastered into your new phone or IPAD? Are you spending all of your free time checking your email, updating your status of Facebook, and the like? Make the extra effort to schedule lunch or an outing together, or even extend an invitation to them to just come over to your house and hang out together.
3. Join a gang. Seriously, join a club or organized group to share a hobby you love or perhaps one that you’d like to learn about. Although you have probably heard this suggestion before, you might think, “I’m just not a ‘club’ sort of person.” But if you’re looking to expand your social contacts, why not try joining a group of people who are interested in the same things you are?
Consider this, you will likely expand your skills and experiences in the hobby or activity by joining with others to practice your activity of choice.
For example, if you love to read, join a book discussion group at your local Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million store, or independent bookstore.
If you wish, you can choose not to speak during the group. Just listen to others and think about what they say. The point is that you expand your social circle with those who enjoy taking part in the same activity that you like to do. You already know you’ll have something in common with the participants.
4. Check out your neighbors. You aren’t the only person out there who takes their neighbors for granted. But you may find that you are living near some pretty fascinating and friendly people. Why not take advantage of it? If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to your neighbors when you see them outdoors. Offer to help your neighbor in some way. But, try not to overwhelm them the first time out of the gate, they will think you’re creepy and begin to hide from you.
Make it a goal to notice your neighbors. Notice their activities, comings and goings, and interests. You never know, someone who shares your love for golf, jogging, or sailing might live right nearby. And you will find comfort in the fact that should you need something or simply want to visit with someone, they’re right outside your door.
The human condition can often trigger feelings of loneliness and isolation.
But you can do a lot of things to overcome or even banish most of those feelings from your life. Keeping weekly contact with family members, having more talks and visits with friends, joining organized groups, and beginning to take notice of your neighbors are ways to expand and maintain a supportive social network. Commit to continue to reach out to others. You will be amazed!
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”