Are We Really Ever “Too Busy” for Social Connection?
Why do we put so much effort into staying busy, and so little time into nurturing our most important relationships?
In today’s society, if we aren’t “busy,” we very well may be perceived as being “lazy.” Jobs, side hustles, housework, errands, and hobbies tend to suck up all our time, but when we’re asked what’s most important in our lives, many of us will answer with our friends and families. Why do we put so much effort into staying busy, and so little time into nurturing our most important relationships?
Is Busyness Really All It’s Cracked up to Be?
Staying busy has its benefits – it can ward off boredom and help to keep our minds sharp. But society places a lot of value on 60 hour work weeks, keeping pristine houses and yards, and filling our free hours with side gigs like driving Uber or crafting for Etsy shops. Despite this, we often commiserate about having crazy schedules, being too busy to eat a proper meal, and never taking a much-needed break.
America was built on the ideal of social mobility: that anyone, even those at the bottom of the economic ladder could work their way to the top. Busy individuals are often perceived as having a higher status for this reason. The harder they work, the more success they may achieve in the future.
But social mobility in America has been decreasing over the past few decades. It’s getting more difficult for those at the bottom to work their way up. But still, the media tells us a story of personal success through constant hard work, and often those who aren’t working are portrayed as “goofing off”, being lazy, or not having a good character.
In reality, being busy isn’t always great for our mental health. Working too much without taking a break can spike our cortisol levels. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can cause long-term health problems if it remains unchecked. Being in a constant state of stressing out over deadlines and trying to keep our schedules full can be seriously detrimental.
Fabriq: Communal by Nature | Friendship
The Importance of Friendships in Your Health and Well-Being
When it comes to our health, most of us know the basics – eat nutrient-rich foods, exercise, and drink plenty of water. But more and more research is revealing another major factor in your overall wellness: friendships.
Making Time For Social Interaction
To counteract all the stress of our busy lives, it’s time for us to start thinking about what’s really important in our lives. Friends and family form a support system and are extremely important when it comes to both our physical and mental wellbeing. When stress is overtaking our lives, it’s necessary for us to put our work and household chores aside and spend time with the people who are most important to us.
Though the needs of our jobs may seem pressing, the truth is, it can often be put on hold at least for an hour or two. Grab coffee or lunch with a friend. Plan a weekend getaway to see those relatives in another state. Or start a book club with your friends so you can have a regular date to meet on the calendar.
Stop the Excuses
It’s natural that when a friend asks us to hang out, we automatically think of all the things that need to get done instead. But next time you’re about to say, “I’d love to but I have to do laundry,” take a step back. Chances are, the laundry can wait a bit. Even just a fifteen minute chat on the phone with your best friend can boost your mood and help relieve stress.
Instead of making excuses as to why you can’t spend time on social interaction, use social interaction as your excuse. Tell your boss “I can’t stay late because I’m meeting a friend for dinner,” and don’t even stop to feel guilty about it. Jobs will come and go, but no matter what happens, you can always fall back on your social group.
You’re Communal by Nature
These days, most folks find it easier to lock eyes with a screen than with another person, but on a social level, we’re biologically built to avoid loneliness in order to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. In the era of the great “disconnection epidemic,” when we’re more likely to kick back than venture out, it’s tougher than ever to maintain a tight-knit crew.
That’s where Fabriq slips in and works its magic for the relationships that matter most to you.
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If you’re looking to show people you care and strengthen your connections, you’ve gotta amp up your active and empathetic listening skills.