Today (just today, while holding onto the option to do another post or two because I’m spontaneous like that) I’m participating in my friend Ann’s #30BrighterDays series:

#30BrighterDays is a practice I developed for the purpose of practice– practicing noticing, practicing creative expression, and practicing brightening my perspective. I welcome you to join me in your own notebook, on your blog, or on your social media using the hashtag. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. In fact, I’ve found it works best for me as a little deal. We often overlook those. 

I am a people person and a total extrovert, so connections are important to me. These days, even though we are more connected than ever (thanks, social media!), we are isolated at the same time because so much can be done without leaving our seat in front of the computer. As a result, real life interactions with friends and family can fall by the wayside. Online relationships are great, but connecting in a more private (offline) manner almost always means so much more, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort.

I have made it a practice, especially in the last six months or so, to reach out to my friends via text, to check in. I’m not talking about the friends with whom I’m in constant contact; what I mean is, I text friends whose whereabouts and news I usually only learn about via Facebook, or maybe via a rare, semi-annual phone call or a holiday card in December. Taking the time just to say hello is one of those “little deals” that Ann mentions in her #30BrighterDays description, but I guarantee that little deal that will feel like a big deal to the person on the other end.

If you need some ideas, I’m here for you. Start out with simple text check-ins:

  1. Hi!
  2. I was thinking about you and wanted to check in. How are things there?
  3. I miss you. What are you up to?
  4. Remember that time when we…?
  5. I just drove past ____ and I thought of you. I hope you’re doing well!

If you want to get a little creative, text something less plain:

  1. Send a Bitmoji to express yourself. They’re always adding new ones in a variety of moods and themes (get the app and install the Bitmoji keyboard so it’s easy peasy).
  2. Send a screenshot of a song you’re listening to that makes you think of that person.
  3. Send a GIF: endless possibilities here (again, install the GIF keyboard on your phone for text usage, or you can use the GIPHY app to send).
  4. Record a voice text.
  5. Send a funny or meaningful picture, either freshly taken or from your photo library.

Spontaneously connecting with the people I care about is one of my favorite things, and it makes me feel really good to catch up with them. As an added bonus, I’ve love-bombed some of my friends who told me that my timing was perfect because they really needed it that day for various reasons. The idea that a hello from me could be a bright spot in someone’s horrible day makes me feel happy and helpful.

One more suggestion? Send a text not only to the first person that comes to mind, but take a few minutes to truly think about who has been MIA in your life and connect with one of those people too. Our world needs as much positivity as we can muster and this is so easy; give it a shot!