The Key to Prioritising Your Relationships This Year

Social interaction has been in short supply over the last two years, with the pandemic isolating us from our loved ones in a variety of different ways. This has brought on its own share of challenges, with some friendships, relationships and family connections wilting in the wake of the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. 2022 is a brand new year, and a new opportunity to prioritise the special relationships in your life. Spending more time with your favourite people this year — be it in person or virtually — is an active decision and will require a little bit of work on your part. Let’s dive right in.

Start by Prioritising the People You Care About

Sitting down and writing down a list of the people who are most important and special in your life might not be something that most people does, but it can help you to realise not only how strong your support network is, while also helping you to “pick the weeds” so to speak when it comes to toxic, negative or draining people. It’s not about creating a ranking system of your friends or family. It’s simply a way to decide who you’re going to focus most of your energy on, in a modern world where energy and time is often in short supply.

Set a Reminder to Reach Out in Your Calendar

A trick I like to use for reaching out to my inner circle is to set reminders on my Google calendar or physical diary for when I’d like to check in with specific people. Writing down their birthdays is one thing, but making an active effort to drop them a line at least once a month (or just a picture showing what you are up to) is a show of the fact that you care about them, that you want to include them in your life, and that you are setting an intention for your bond to grow. It can be as simple as asking how they are, inviting them to share a new experience with you, or just giving them an update around what you’ve been going through in recent weeks.

Encouraging Authentic Communication

Asking someone how they are and hearing “Fine thanks and you?” back can be a little demoralising. This auto-response is an easy deflection when someone truly doesn’t have the capacity to delve a little deeper. Text communication (or just using emojis!) can be slightly shallow, which is why making time to send a long voice note, to get together for a coffee, or just having a quick video chat is so important. Once you sit down together, tell the person you would like to communicate more authentically this year. This includes sharing both the good, and the bad, and being there for each other through both.

Accessing the Tools to Foster Long-Term Connection

If you took part in the Circle of Life challenge at the tail-end of last year (or are planning on doing it in your own time), you’ll know that I’m all about fostering long-term connections and relationships as a way to encourage good mental health. It’s part of the reason why I spend so much time talking about relationship building with my holistic health coaching clients. On top of what we’ve discussed today, there are a variety of other tools that can help make fusing connections with the people in your network a little easier. Check in with me if you’d like to learn more about these, and we can get together for a session to find out more about the other areas you’d like to work on this year too.