Connecting with others isn’t always easy, but all of us need positive connections with others for our physical and mental wellbeing, whether we have a mental health condition or not.
If you’re finding things busy or stressful, connection might not be the first thing on your mind – so we’ve put together six top tips for connecting with others.
Make it personal
We all experience connection in different ways. Try to think of some times that you felt connected with others – what were you doing, and how did it feel?
Some people find that watching something funny and laughing together makes them feel connected, with others like to share food with important people in their lives, or work alongside a team to solve a puzzle or play a sport.
This week, can you arrange to do something that helps you to feel connected to others? Having something to look forward to can also boost your mood.
If you’re not sure how you prefer to connect, try a few different things and stay curious. What has the biggest impact?
Use technology in a way that works for you
Lots of us use technology to connect with people every day, whether we’re sending a quick photo of our day or sharing something funny. Communicating online can also make it more accessible and reduce the barriers of distance.
Next time you to go connect with a friend through your phone, why not think about how you’d prefer to get in touch? Sometimes a quick message might be easiest, but on other occasions it might work to send a voice note or video call, for example.
How do different ways of keeping in touch affect how connected you feel? Do you prefer to catch up with different people in different ways?
Make connecting with others fun
Sometimes connecting with others can involve deep and serious chats – but it can be fun too!
Why not find a game you can play with someone else – especially if you can work together, instead of against each other. You could also try a creative activity like making postcards with someone else, or set yourselves a fun Taskmaster-style challenge.
Thank the people that matter
When you think about connecting with others, who comes to mind? What have they done or said that’s helped you feel connected recently?
If someone’s helped you feel heard, appreciated, or supported – let them know! You might find it helps you feel more connected as well.
Get back in touch
Sometimes it’s healthy for friends and relationships to end, but sometimes people drift apart without meaning to. Can you think of anyone you’ve accidentally become less connected to? Perhaps life has been busy lately and you just haven’t had time to catch up.
Place2Be recently shared that a study found that we often underestimate how much people appreciate it when others unexpectedly reach out to connect. Is there anyone you haven’t spoken to in a while that you’d like to check in with?
If you need support
If you’re feeling lonely, or struggling to connect with others, there is support available.
You can always text NATTER to 85258 to message a trained volunteer – it’s free, confidential, and anonymous. We also have information on more ways to get urgent help now.