Pick up the phone

Teenage years, you remember them. Mine included rushing home from any family gathering to hang around and wait for someone to call. No answering machine! As soon as it rang, the kitchen phone would be glued to my ear for hours as I wrapped the spiral cord around my finger. When my parents bought a cordless and I could take it into my room = Game Changer.

I used to call friends at random when I was thinking about them, to see what they were up to, and to kill time because I was bored. Pre-Facebook days.

And now? I make appointments, sometimes weeks in advance, to call people I love.

Granted some of this is about coordinating travel schedules and babysitters in order to carve out quiet time to talk about the big things. It takes effort and it's worth it.

But other times I don't pick up the phone because I don't want to bother people.

People I love.

Without confirming with them over text or email first, I feel like I could be interrupting their lives. They could be busy. They probably are. I am, too.

Hugging SarahThose "thinking about you" phone calls have turned into texts in my world. I send them a lot. Texts give everyone the ability to respond when they can. I even did a virtual #HugTour through texts at one point. Sending nearly everyone in my phone HUG because I couldn't reach them with my arms.

I thought that sending love could be simple. They could still feel cared about, and our connection would still be intact.

I was wrong.

The website, Business Insider, published an article in September called, "A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier."

A client sent it my way because it mentions hugs. Yay. Hugging people helps our bodies release more stress-reducing and happy-making hormones. (Hugging my friend Sarah is awesome. She squeezes extra tight.)

This passage in the article caught my attention:

[box]"Sorry, texting is not enough.

When you put people in a stressful situation and then let them visit loved ones or talk to them on the phone, they felt better. What about when they just texted? Their bodies responded the same as if they had no support at all."[/box]

Hugging. A pat on the back. Holding hands. Massage. A soothing familiar voice on the other end of the phone line. These are the things that matter when you're stressed, or feeling lonely and anxious about life.

All of those texts I sent were nice gestures. I'll still do it, and now I'll also pick up the phone.

Hope you will too.