If you find the days seem to slip away and life's hurried pace to be draining, it's time to find some simple ways to add meaning to your life. Here are five ideas for nurturing a deeper connection with yourself and others:
1. Reconnect with your passion
Did you enjoy painting when you were younger? Have you always wanted to take a photography class? Do you love to travel? It's important to recognize and nurture those activities you love most so that you're able to go out and do what you're great at in the world. New York-based yoga instructor, Tara Stiles has infused her passion and energy into her work as a yoga, meditation and wellness instructor. 'Passion is really about going after what you want to achieve in your life,' says Stiles. Whether it's cooking, writing or gardening, make time for what you enjoy doing, rather than just doing what you have to. Even one hour a week dedicated to your passion will make you feel more centered and grounded.
2. Express your individuality
Individual beliefs and values make us each unique, and you can express those ideals through your fashion and jewelry choices. For example, the new Pandora Essence Collection is more than just a beautiful bracelet. You can select from 24 hand finished charms, each representing inner-values like faith, love, courage, confidence and wisdom. Each charm slides effortlessly into position on a slender silver bracelet, thanks to three silicone grip stoppers inside each charm. Whether for yourself or a gift for a loved one, the bracelet is the perfect reminder of what's really important in life.
3. Give back
Volunteering in your community is a great way to connect with others and find deeper meaning in the everyday. Leila Janah, a social entrepreneur based in San Francisco, traveled to West Africa at the age of 17, and volunteered in a school for blind children. The experience led her to found Samasource, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals living in poverty. Janah recalls that '[Volunteering in West Africa] was a time of incredible personal growth and it set me on the path to do what I do.' Whether you choose to help stock a local food shelf, supervise at your children's school or travel abroad to help build houses for the poor, volunteering is sure to make you feel more connected with the world around you.
4. Find 'me time'
Modern life can be very busy with every hour in every day dedicated to some activity. This can take its toll on your body, so it's important to remember to take care of yourself, even if you're taking care of others. Find your own way to relax and rejuvenate. This may be spending a few minutes each day balancing the mind and body through stretching and meditation. It might be taking a quiet walk, reading a book or having a cup of tea while journaling. Whatever you prefer, make sure to take 'me time' throughout the day.
5. Be an ambassador for your beliefs
What truly ignites your soul? It may be your passion for green living, healthy eating or your faith. Whatever your beliefs, it's important to show the world who you are and what you believe in. Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, an award-winning filmmaker, shares her beliefs and connects with others through her work. 'I'm always trying to find that common thread between myself and someone else when I'm interviewing them,' Chaffer says. 'I find that love, and talking about love, is this thing we can use to help connect us.' Talk about your beliefs and values with others; you might be surprised by what you find.
Rather than getting swept away in a hectic schedule, try focusing on what truly matters to you. These simple ways to add meaning to your life will help you reconnect with yourself and with those around you.