In our modern, bustling world, nearly everyone would agree they want to be more present in their own lives. We want to catch coffee with friends and sink deep in meaningful conversation without digital distractions. We want to savor well-cooked meals without racing through it to get to the next thing on their to-do lists.
But then there’s the reality of day-to-day life. We yearn to show up and dig into the moments we have in front of us, but there’s always something demanding our attention. So when the pull of texting, social media, or email is just too magnetic, practice these tips to ground yourself back in the moment at hand. Be present, showing hospitality to those you’re with.
- Leave your phone out of sight.
No one feels valued when you whip out a phone to scroll Instagram or finish a text mid-conversation. Even if you turn your phone to silent and promise not to pick it up, the notifications will be enough to distract you from deeper connection with the person across from you. Instead, suggest everyone pile their phones face-down in the center of the table, and instate this rule: the first person to cave and reach for her phone has to buy everyone dessert. It’s a win-win situation. Or simply tuck your phone into your bag. If you’re spending the night in, ask your guests to leave their phones in a basket by the door to maximize your time together.
- Don’t reach for your phone first thing.
When your alarm wakes you up each morning, do you reach for your phone first? I used to slowly wake up with Instagram and email, and not only was it a huge waste of time, but it left me distracted from the things that mattered most like reading my Bible, talking to God, and writing. Now, I often don’t pick up my phone until mid-morning, and it feels good to be free from the constant stream of notifications. BONUS: Keeping yourself from checking email in the morning will help you create a better work-life balance. Work can wait until you reach the office, so take the morning to wake up and nourish yourself with coffee, good food, and God’s Word first thing. You’ll be a happier woman because of it.
- Lighten up your schedule.
We all do it. Whether it’s because we want to be as productive as possible, we have a hard time saying no, or we have a healthy case of FOMO, we all overbook ourselves. We run from place to place without giving much thought or time to the faces we’re constantly greeting and leaving. If a friend invites you over, practice staying present by not planning any later activities. Enjoy your time with the people you love most, and give yourself time to linger without rushing off. That’s when all the good conversation happens anyway.
While we’re called to work hard and enthusiastically, God doesn’t want us to chase busyness and achievements at the expense of relationships. After all, He’s the One who said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31 HCSB)
So it’s about time we started showing up and staying put for God and all the amazing people He’s brought into our lives.
What ways do you employ to practice hospitality by being present?
Elizabeth Hudson is a copywriter for LifeWay Women. She’s also a reader, writer, and wayfarer who hopes to explore every country in the world at least once.