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Meaningful Connection

– is taking the time to connect with someone whether it be a family member, friend, or taking a bit more time at the grocery checkout counter to look someone in the eye and genuinely ask how they are doing.

 

We’ve listed some ideas below and invite you to think of others.

Self-Guided Activities

Writing

  • Write a personal note to a friend, family member, someone who is sick or grieving, or someone arriving at a happy milestone (wedding, graduation, anniversary, birthday)
  • Write someone what you love about them; or say what you would miss if they weren’t around
  • Invite friends or relatives to play “haiku tag”: write a haiku for today; send it to one or several friends, asking them to reply with their haiku(s) tomorrow (or next week—your choice)
  • Send a kind text message
  • Send a card or letter to someone in the mail
  • Journal about your life’s most important relationships
  • Keep a gratitude journal: every day list 5 people for whom you are grateful and explain why
  • Send a quick text to say, “Just thinking of you today”
  • Pray for someone and let them know
  • Lighten someone’s mood – share a joke, a funny photo, or something beautiful
  • Send a card to someone noting something they did that allowed you to feel peace, love, or joy

Giving

  • Bake something—anything—and take some of it to a neighbor
  • Donate—any amount—to a group or cause to which you have never given before
  • Send someone a photo you’ve taken of a bird, flower, or butterfly around your house
  • Send a card or letter to someone in the mail
  • Send someone a care package
  • Provide materials for child to draw or paint a picture to give to another
  • Draw a picture of someone and give it to them

Talking

  • Tell someone what you love about them; or say what you would miss if they weren’t around
  • Call a friend
  • Call an old friend you haven’t talked to lately
  • Use Zoom, FaceTime, or Google Meet to share coffee and bagels with a friend or relative on Saturday morning; or hold a virtual coffee hour with them over nibbles and drinks on Friday evening
  • Call someone in your family’s oldest living generation—ask them to tell you what they were doing at your age and how they see that time from their current vantage point
  • Check in with folks you know who live alone – call to see how they are, whether there’s anything you can do for them, whether they have concerns for which they would like you to pray
  • Develop a relationship with a Spiritual Director – see https://www.dioet.org/spiritual-directors/
  • Engage a friend or family member in a thoughtful topic – see Table Topics at  https://www.dioet.org/well-fed/
  • Tell someone you live with that you love them

Touching

  • Snuggle at bedtime; take turns giving and receiving a short, gentle scalp massage
  • Lay a hand on your child’s head and bless him or her before they leave the house
  • Reach out to someone to whom you matter: your kids, grandkids, in-laws, parents, old friends, new friends

Praying

  • Lay a hand on your child’s head and bless him or her before they leave the house
  • Pray each day for one person you knew in high school or college
  • Pray each day for one mentor
  • Pray each day for one person who irritates you
  • Pray for someone you normally wouldn’t pray for
  • Scroll through faces during a large Zoom session and give God thanks for each of them

Listening

  • Engage a friend or family member in a thoughtful topic – see Table Topics at  https://www.dioet.org/well-fed/
  • Use Zoom, FaceTime, or Google Meet to share coffee and bagels with a friend or relative on Saturday morning; or hold a virtual coffee hour with them over nibbles and drinks on Friday evening
  • Call someone in your family’s oldest living generation—ask them to tell you what they were doing at your age and how they see that time from their current vantage point
  • Let someone know you are thinking of them
  • Wish a colleague well
  • Send loving kindness to someone
  • Consider who may need to hear from someone and then call, text, email or send a card
  • Reach out to someone to whom you matter: your kids, grandkids, in-laws, parents, old friends, new friends

Other

  • Take some time alone – away from family – when you need a meaningful connection with yourself
  • Help a child connect via FaceTime or Zoom with someone who matters to them– a conversation with a grandparent, beloved friend or relative, same-age friend

Follow-up with Self Reflection

  • Reflect at the end of the day – where did I have an opportunity to share God’s peace with someone, and where did someone share God’s peace with me?
  • Reflect at the end of the week – where did I share God’s peace, and where did someone share God’s peace with me?