This year has been difficult for quite a few of us and it’s been felt all around the globe. So it only seemed natural that for this month’s theme to talk about togetherness.
Being together means more than just being together in the same room, together in the same house, or even together in the same country. I would say that I feel together or connected with people on the other side the world. When we talk online, when we video call, it feels as though we are with them and we feel connected and that is largely due to technology – which has been a wonderful thing this year in particular.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.Helen Keller
In a way we’ve never been more connected than we have this year as the whole world feels the urgency and desire to return to a “normal” vibrant and nourishing life. That said, when December comes around there’s always lots of talk of family and friends, meeting up with colleagues and last-minute meetings and lunches. This can, in itself, put a lot of pressure on people.
There’s even more pressure this year as we are living under certain restrictions and we won’t be able to do those classic meet ups. It could be easy to feel disconnected and to feel the very opposite of being “together”: whether that’s feeling isolated, feeling alone or just being lonely.
And these feelings happen every year for a lot of people around Christmastime. Those who may not have family to visit or who struggle with the holidays.
On the other hand, you can also be surrounded by friends and family and still feel alone. You can be with ones you really love but not feel together.
When you’re sat in the same room that people are disconnected one person is watching television one persons on the phone one person is listening to music… You’re all together but are you actually together?
So perhaps it’s more important than ever to be aware of our actions, how we act around people and how we spend and give our time. Perhaps we choose to give some of our time to an elderly neighbour so they don’t feel alone or maybe we choose to bring some baked goods round to another neighbour so we can share the Christmas love and the Christmas cheesecake (which is definitely something I am doing a lot of).
These simple acts are just little things we can do to feel more together as a society, as a friendship group and as a family. If there is anything I want to focus in this December, then this is it.
We’re never too far away from hearing all the statistics on how loneliness has increased throughout 2020 due to the pandemic. It’s heart-breaking to know that lots of people feel alone, feel isolated and feel the opposite of together with their friends and family.
And there are actually lots of people who sadly, and unfortunately, don’t have many people around them. This year, and this time of year, it is especially important to think about those people and about how we can help.
Birds of the same feathers flock together, and when they flock together they fly so high.Cecil Thounaojam
While there are lots of charities who help tackle loneliness, which are great ways to show your support on a large scale, it’s also important to think about what we can do as individuals in our local area, or even just within our household.
- Being present. Being fully present in the moment with your Family and friends. Without distractions, without phones pinging and without emails buzzing but just being fully present, being connected and engaging in conversation that you feel thoroughly that brings you together.
- Taking time to visit a neighbour. Offer to spend some time with them whether that’s talking outside in the garden or on the phone. Simply offering some friendly advice and being a friendly voice at the end of the line can be a huge spirit lifter.
- Tuning into the online world. Social media and the Internet can be great tools to enable connections. They bring people together, even if you can’t actually be together. Maybe you do an IG live. Or maybe you offer a free workout class to your followers online. There are so many different ways you can use the Internet to bring people together and to create a virtual community.
- Check in on friends. We often think our friends are fine, they seem really happy by what we hear from them. But how often do we stop to ask how they really are and listen. Make time for friends and loved ones and be patient – life is not always how we see it online.
Togetherness is something that isn’t always talked about but it’s an inherent part of humanity and of us as human beings. We seek relationships, we crave closeness to individuals and find peace in being connected on some level to others. Not being able to connect this year as easily as in other years has been challenging and the wintertime and Christmastime can really accentuate those challenges.
So, this year in 2020 I’m going to try to focus on how to be more together with people I love and my friends. Through my social media, I shall try to feel together and continue to create virtual friendships.
As we’ve seen, togetherness doesn’t have to be in real life. Togetherness can simply be a feeling of being connected, being as one and of being understood by someone close by or just someone who lend you their ear. Take this Christmastime to spread joy, to spread love and to spread a sense of togetherness.
If we don’t have each other, we go crazy with loneliness. When we do, we go crazy with togetherness.Stephen King