written by Summer Partain
“How can you offer love to your relationships if you are not actually present in them?”
Being a better friend, daughter, spouse, or mother starts with fully giving your full, present attention to the people who are most important in your life. Here are a few ways to weave this skill into your daily life.
Set the Intention
Being more present could be as simple as starting with just the intention of being present. It sounds so easy, and that is because it is! I recently learned something in a meditation session that has been so helpful for me — if you feel like you are leaving the present moment, try doing a body scan. Think about where your mind is (are you on your phone or concentrating on something else?), what is your body language, are you listening and receiving the connection that is happening between you and that other person. This is a really good way to realize things you may be doing that are taking you away from that moment.
If you are having breakfast with your family, put away all distractions and just sit with them. Talk about the day ahead, ask them about their interests and feelings, laugh, let loose and have fun. All of these very simple adjustments can make a world of difference in your relationships, not only with your kids and family, but with your co-workers and people you meet throughout your life.
Another helpful way to being more present is to consistently practice gratefulness. Remind yourself of the very few moments you will get to read to your kids before bed or teach them something new. Remind yourself of the fact that you are here today alive and are blessed to have the ability to speak and engage and look your partner in the eyes.
Plan Ahead & Prioritize
I am a mother who works Monday through Friday and has only a few hours in the day between the time we all wake up to the time everyone goes to bed. Planning activities for us to spend time together is one of my biggest priorities. Not only does it allow for constant memory-making, but it gives us something to look forward to even when we don’t have too much time together during the week. Family movie nights, beach days, road trips, or going to explore new places. Carving time in your schedule to prioritize time with family and friends may seem silly to some, but it keeps consistency and doesn’t allow other things to get in the way of what is really important.
Rituals and traditions are also another great way to connect — date nights with your significant other, going on Saturday morning walks with your kids, or cooking dinner together. Sometimes it is just the little things that make the biggest differences in your relationships.
Give & Receive Love
If you know anything about the five languages of love, you may know that each of us give and receive love in different ways. Physical touch and quality time are at the top of the list for me, personally. That is what I crave the most from my partner. Do you know what your partner’s love language is? If you don’t, try taking the test and figure out what ways they like to receive love. If it is different from yours, try to offer what they need when you are connecting. Put your needs to the side and focus on them. How can you make them feel like you are really present and actively listening?
Just focusing on these simple, but very impactful tools, you will be on your way to having more fulfilling conversations with your spouse, kids, friends, and all the amazing people in your life. We have one life to live on this earth — try to make every second count and don’t let life, moments, and special connections pass you by.
My name is Summer and I am a personal growth and development junkie. I am a mother of three beautiful children, own my own consulting business, and have a full-time career in business operations management. Trying to juggle a family, my career, and my passions for self-love and care are my biggest priorities. To learn a little more about me and for more daily motivation and inspiration, please follow me on my Instagram @summerpartain.