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  • Writer's pictureFanny Baert

During the Holidays, let's practice LOVE!

In this blog, I want to talk about love, one of Seligman and Peterson’s 24 character strengths everyone has, making up the best of our personality and having a positive impact on our life. On the website of the Via Institute, you can do a free survey which will rank your 24 character strengths. Our top five strengths will lead us to be successful and help us overcome transitions in life.

According to the Via Institute, love as a character strength, rather than as an emotion, refers to the degree to which you value close relationships with people, and contribute to that closeness in a warm and genuine way. Where kindness can be a behavioural pattern applied in any relationship, love as a character strength really refers to the way you approach your closest and warmest relationships. Love is reciprocal, referring to both loving others and the willingness to accept love from others.

During one of my coaching training sessions, I was asked to give one of my core values. I said love as in developing close connections with people. Making close connections makes me thrive; it makes me who I am, close connections make me happy and they guide my actions. Connecting with people has also become one of my core strengths. I like to connect with people, listen to their story and challenges and help them move forward along their path. This is one of the reasons I became a coach.

This morning, one of my coaching clients also listed love as one of her fundamental values defining it as 'l'espace que nous donnons à l'autre, l'échange et la vibration du coeur' which can be translated, as best as possible as, the space we give to the other, the exchange and the vibrations of the heart.

Connection is essential to our wellbeing as it increases our personal growth and cognitive functioning, decreases our anxiety, and gives us protection from stressful events.

So let's check in with people you love!

❣️Christmas and New Year can be the loneliest time of the year especially for people going through transition. This time of year can bring painful reminders of loss, challenging interaction with family, and pressures to look/feel/be a certain way can leave people feeling more lonely than ever. Now is the time to remind people they are not alone.

When you yourself are going through transition, it is important to stay connected with people who matter to you and whom you can trust so you can share your thoughts and feelings. It is good to realise you are not alone; even if friends cannot be physically with you, they are with you in thoughts and they support you.

❣️Staying connected does not ask much, especially in the 21 st century. You do not have to write a long letter, go buy a stamp, run to the post office, wait for the letter to arrive and the other to write you back. This was in fact very romantic and you can still chose to do it but now you can just connect through one click on a social platform. It does not take much. Even a brief message to say hi matters more than we think; it can make a positive impact and certainly make someone's day.

❣️Give special thought to people you have drifted apart from. Now is an opportunity to share some news and send them your good wishes for the New Year!

❣️Keep it simple; No one is expecting you to send cookies or a gift.

❣️Finally, checking in with somebody you love or want to get closer with again, will also give you a satisfying and warm feeling. Do not forget, love goes both ways.

So, who are you going to connect with during the Holidays?

Wishing you Happy Holidays!


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