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The Long Game - Issue #198

Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #198
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #198 • View online
I hope everyone is having a Happy Holiday season and enjoying the time with friends and family. Over the last several weeks, I’ve discussed the foundations of health, performance, breath, mindset, nutrition/hydration, movement, and rest/recovery. This week, I will discuss the final piece - connection/relationships. This time of year is perfect to be with those close to us, even if it is virtual.  
As humans, we are tribal people and need the connection of others to thrive. During the winter months, we hunker down and spend time with those closest to us. Our relationship with others, ourselves, and God/spirit (or whatever your personal religious beliefs are) are essential. How connected are you right now?
Your relationship with yourself determines how you show up in the world. Do you take the time to define your core values? Have you explored what you really want out of life? If you don’t spend time doing this inner work, you might wake up one day and wonder how you got where you are. You may find yourself unsatisfied and potentially resenting those around you. 
If you haven’t done the inner work, I encourage you to adopt a journaling practice. It will help you dive into your mind and inner workings. In addition to journaling, I encourage you to spend time alone and listen to your heart. During this time of year, try to find some time to connect with yourself and feel your emotions and desires.
What is your relationship like with others? Do the people in your life lift you up or pull you down? If you want to improve yourself, having a community of like-minded individuals is incredibly important. While it is natural to want to complete tasks on your own, we need others’ support. Not only can support help us reach our goals, but it also brings more pleasure to the journey.  As you find people you truly care about, stay present with them and try not to distract yourself. One of the methods we adopted in our household is no phones at dinner. This is a time to connect and engage. When you are engaged with loved ones, try to have deep and meaningful conversations. Gossip, small talk, and idle chit chat serve no purpose. Learn what drives those close to you and listen, not to respond, but to hear what they say.
Last but not least, what is your relationship with a higher power? I’m not saying you must believe in God, but as you get out in the world, it is clear there is something much bigger than us. The vast expanse of nature and the deep connection you can feel with the earth by going on a hike makes this clear. If you are struggling with your relationship with your higher power, I encourage you to get out in nature and explore and reconnect to whatever that higher power may be for you.
In the final week of the year, I challenge you to look into each of these aspects of connection. Spend time connecting with yourself, with others, and with a higher power. I’d love to hear about your experience, so please send me an email and let me know how it goes.

Human relationships and contact are fundamental to our life experience and health. The study discussed in this article is one of the longest-running health studies and found that our relationships are one of the biggest predictors of health. “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed.” I can easily see where this is the case. If we have quality relationships, our stress levels, which contribute to so many of the chronic diseases we face right now, are lower.
It is essential to have a positive relationship with yourself. It impacts every aspect of your life. You cannot be there for your kids, family or friends if you cannot love yourself. Just like they tell you on a plane, in case of emergency put on your oxygen mask first before helping others around you. Don’t think of self-care as being selfish. It is the only way to be your best self in all areas of life and for your loved ones.
This article details fascinating studies on how nature changes our mental and physical state. In one study, viewing pictures or videos of nature “leads to greater “prosocial” tendencies—generosity, cooperation, and kindness.” Being close to nature also reduces stress. We tend to view nature as the natural world but forget that we are an important part of it. By reconnecting with nature, our nervous systems know we are close to home, leading to positive impacts on our health and stress.
Before I go, checkout a few more links I found this week.
Starting January 4th, I will be opening registration to the Symmetry System, a new program developed over years of work. If you’re a busy person ready to take back control of your life in 2021 so you have more time, more energy, and less stress, this program is for you. Set up a free call today and let’s chat.
I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along.
Happy Holidays,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website to learn more about the services I offer.

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