Jaycox: The importance of fostering relationships

Staying connected is the way toget through this

Relationships have been on my mind lately.

People just need other people, perhaps especially now, during this ongoing pandemic, which adds so much struggle to the already challenging aspects of life.

People still get divorced, move away, wrestle with mental health, unemployment, or communicating with spouses, family members or co-workers, etcetera.

In many ways, people define themselves by relationships, i.e., “I am a husband, I am a mother, I am an uncle, I’m an employee, I’m a friend.”

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The importance of friendship has been highlighted to me recently. At times when you may feel like you don’t have much to give, and feel in need yourself — of advice, guidance, or comfort — simply reaching out to check in with the people you care about can mean more to them than you know and can do wonders for you.

You may not know how much impact a call, a visit (when possible) or a text might mean to someone who is feeling isolated or is simply struggling with something in their life.

You may discover you’ve had a similar experience that allows you to empathize with them — that by itself has the power to make people feel less alone. It may not solve their problem, but it’s an important part of one’s sense of well-being.

No, you aren’t crazy to be feeling this way. No you aren’t alone. Others have felt the same way, or had the same thoughts.

And, when you manage to lift the mood of someone else, you may just feel a renewed sense of value and well-being in yourself.

I find the people I care about, though in some cases far away, are often close in my thoughts. However, I’m starting to realize that thoughts need to be put into action more often to really have a positive impact.

And they don’t have to be big things; the smallest actions can help people feel connected and contribute to a better sense of well-being.

If you don’t feel important, or think no one would notice if you were gone, rest assured: you are important to more people than you know, and there’s likely at least one person who you mean the world to.

Reach out — to give of yourself, or to ask for help. Stay connected to each other, and we’ll get through this.

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