The Importance of Gathering Together

There has never been a better time to gather together with the ones you hold dearest to show them how much they mean to you. Sharing a meal or hosting a games night are fun and exciting ways to get the ones you love in the same room to reconnect and have some fun! Even in small numbers, the benefits of gathering together and being present with your loved ones are enormous. 
As poet John Donne once penned, “no man is an island.” As humans, we need other people, and we need close relationships. Our personal wellbeing, both physical and emotional, is tied up in the quality of our friendships and partnerships, so these special get-togethers can work wonders for our health and happiness. Not only is gathering together enjoyable, but it also nurtures our most important relationships and promotes a sense of belonging and community. A simple meal shared with friends or family can leave you feeling incredibly inspired, rejuvenated and connected.  
I know that many of us are separated by distance, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t still gather and connect in a genuine, meaningful way. It just means you need to be creative! Plus, being such busy people (as I’m sure most of you are, too), it is hard for us to switch off. We need to be very mindful of carving out time for ourselves, our children, our family and our friends. 
Here are some of the ways that we have been, and will continue to, eat, drink, gather and be merry with the friends and family we love the most, whether they are separated by oceans or right here on our shores. 
Sharing a delicious meal 
When you hear the word ‘gather’ do you immediately think of seemingly endless lunches with lots of laughter or intimate dinners by candlelight? I definitely do! And to be honest, when I get the precious time to host a brunch, lunch or dinner, I really am in my element! Beautiful styling, scrumptious food and good company is a combination that really is quite hard to beat. 
Eating a meal happens numerous times a day, but when you share a meal with people you love, really try to make an occasion of it. Set the table and use your finest dinnerware to celebrate each other and your connection. I promise that when your friends or family walk into your space and are greeted with a beautifully curated table setting, they will be absolutely filled with glee! 
Whether it is for brunch, lunch or dinner, try to cook something that you know they will love. And make it entirely from scratch! If you’re stuck for ideas or aren’t the biggest whizz in the kitchen, we have a wonderful selection of cookbooks to select from and find delicious meals to make. Also, make a pledge to yourself and with your loved ones to keep your meal ‘screen-free’ so that you can really be present and enjoy your conversation. 
If you’re separated by distance, you can still share a meal together, just in a different way (you’re allowed a screen for this meal!). Both of you cook the same dish while on FaceTime together and then sit and eat while you enjoy amazing conversation and lots of laughter.
Hosting a games night
If cooking a feast and creating a tablescape isn’t viable for you, another option is to host a games or activities night in your home. Consider getting a bunch of your nearest and dearest together and playing board games, cards or charades with snacks on hand and drinks aplenty! You could even organise a book club amongst your closest friends. 
We are very lucky nowadays that we have access to technology that can keep us in touch. We really are spoilt for choice. A games night or book club will also work if you are living in different states or even different countries. By using FaceTime and other apps, you can still enjoy an activity together or partake in a book club and stay connected.
Show your appreciation  
Whether you spend an entire day or evening with your loved ones or whether you connect with them digitally, it is important to show them how much you appreciate them. 
If your family and friends live close to you, invite them into your home so you can tell them in person that you are grateful for their relationship with you. Speak your words genuinely over a cup of tea or coffee with muffins or scones and simply be present together. You can also do this via FaceTime or video chat – it doesn’t make it any less meaningful! 
Regardless of whether they live near or far, you can always send them a gift as a token of your appreciation or your thoughts. Think of something that they will really love and appreciate, and that is applicable to their life right now. Are they going through a tough time at work? You could send them a beautiful bath soak or some essential oils to calm their mind. Have they just moved to a new house? Consider sending them a beautiful planter for some new houseplants as a housewarming gift. Or why not simply write them a letter? Not only will it express your appreciation for this special person, but also become a beautiful keepsake they can cherish for years to come. 
When we’re faced with adversity and a way of life we have never experienced before it is important to dig deep and find your resilience. Your family, friends and loved ones can be your reservoir of resilience, calm, fun and positivity. That’s why it is so important to give back to them and take the time to foster your special connections. Be creative, be genuine and always be as positive as possible even when it seems dark. If you can stay connected, whether digital or in person, the future will look bright.
Tara x