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Three free & easy ways to stay in touch with friends

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We all know anecdotally that maintaining strong relationships is vital for our overall well-being and happiness, but it's backed in data: according to a study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, having strong social connections and friendships can significantly impact our happiness and well-being. The study found that people with a strong network of friends had a 50% higher likelihood of reporting higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives compared to those without close friendships.

The study found that cultivating and nurturing meaningful friendships can contribute significantly to our well-being and overall life satisfaction. So, investing time and effort in building and maintaining close relationships can truly enhance our happiness.

But, like many, my time is super limited - I'm a first time mom trying to run and grow a small business. I've managed to find three easy and quick ways to stay in touch with friends and the people I love that results in a positive impact on my relationships.

Take 10 minutes and look up all your friends' birthdays for the next three months so you're not blindsided and accidentally miss them. Every so often I will look at Facebook and add those important birthdays to my Google calendar, and make the event repeat annually so I never have to do it again. I do this for aunts, cousins, big clients, close friends. It helps me never miss a birthday text, card send, or gifting moment.

Share a fun memory on social media. Almost all social channels share memories on their platform - old images from 10 years ago with friends...take a moment to repost and tag your friend and say something sweet or funny about the memory! It always will elicit a great reaction and definitely spur up some fun memories and spark conversation. Pro tip: the older the better!

Finally, and this is the easiest one: whenever you're sitting idly for a few minutes, just reach out with a random text, for no other reason than checking in. Think: on a train for your commute, waiting for a doctor's appointment in a waiting room, on hold with customer service, waiting for a script to be filled at the pharmacy. Take a break from scrolling social or checking email and text someone proactively and out of the blue. It makes a really big impact when there is no reason at all - just say "hi, thought of you - how are you doing? How is your family?" It goes a long way to check in. I've made it a goal to "catch up" in those moments where I'm sitting and waiting for something - it makes waiting more enjoyable and productive.

by: Hannah Redmond, Co-Founder, Happy Box 

Me working from home with my toddler - Elmo on one screen and emails on the other

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