In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to make time for the people we consider to be our chosen family or our actual family. Our daily responsibilities such as work, school, volunteering or parenting can cause us to feel like there is not enough time in the day to do everything we may want to do. It can feel like the busier we get, the less time we feel that we have for our loved ones. What we tend to forget is that the people we consider to be our loved ones provide us with the extra boost we need to keep going, and they help to improve our overall health.
With the rise of social media, it’s easy to log in to see how our loved ones are doing. We often feel as though we are still connected to them when we see their post. What we may fail to realize is that there is no substitute for in-person time with our loved ones. When we spend in-person time with our loved ones, we have to opportunity to give and receive love, affection and support. When we spend in-person time with loved ones, we are reminded of what really matters in life, and we have to opportunity to be fully present in the present moment. We are also reminded of how fortunate we are to have people in our lives that love and support us. When we spend time with those that care about us, we also feel less isolated and alone which can decrease symptoms of depression. We also experience the sense of safety, which can lower anxiety. An additional benefit to spending in-person time with loves ones is the opportunity for physical affection and being able to look into the eyes of those we love and who love us. The act of touching and looking into the eyes of our loved ones causes our body to release the hormone oxytocin (aka the love hormone) into our bloodstream and we feel loved, relaxed and our blood pressure decreases.
There are many benefits to spending in-person time with our lived ones and there is no substitute for it. Relationships with our loved ones are like anything we want to keep in our lives, they have to receive our attention, time and be prioritized. Anything that does not receive our attention, fades away. Making time for your loved ones, will give you the opportunity to feel loved, happier, less alone and to be physically healthier.
Photo by Hian Oliveira
Christina is a Psychotherapist in private practice in Oakland California.