As I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends this week, I've appreciated yet again how crucial friendship is. I felt a great sense of community, and have recently heard quite a few talks on the importance of connection and communication through church and conference sessions. These experiences have led me to reflect on the way I choose to spend my time.

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it's easy to want to relax and watch a Netflix show - and we should take that time. While I love a good Netflix show as much as the next person, but I think there are many other ways we can prioritize our time to do some good in the world. By all means, keep watching and enjoying Netflix. I always enjoy my alone time (#introvert). Still, here are some ways you can use your time in more valuable ways than watching Netflix.

1. Pray

Jamie Scott

Prayer has the power to impact your daily life, even if it's just your perspective. Prayer can express your thoughts and give you a clear head. It's comforting to know that you don't have to bear the burden of your struggles.

2. Read

Beauty and the Beast

Reading can take you to another place and time, giving you a fresh escape for a while. It can also keep you updated on what's currently going and teach you something you didn't know.

3. Get coffee with a friend

Amy Poehler

Honestly, this can be so much better than Netflix. Human interaction makes us feels connected and helps us better understand one another. Reading helps you become a better contributing member of society.

4. Start a conversation with someone you don't know

Lana Del Ray

You never know what you'll learn.

5. Plan a trip.

Aubrey Plaza Planning a trip is almost as fun as actually going and gives you something to look forward to.

6. Call a politician to express your viewpoint on an issue you care about

Mitt Romney

Do you have a few minutes? Do you want to express your view on gun control? Call your politicians - it's one way to positively make an impact in this country when it is so needed.

7. Write a letter or thank you note to a friend

Letter

Writing a letter is a brilliant way to make a connection with someone and express your thoughts.

8. Call or video chat a friend you haven't talked to in a while

Kid President

Talking on the phone is a great way to reconnect with someone and catch up.

9. Plan a surprise for someone

Parks and Recreation

10. Start a GoFundMe for a cause you believe in

Money

A great way to make a positive impact is by raising money for a cause you believe in.

11. Be vulnerable and honest with someone about where you're at and what you're struggling with

Amy Poehler

It's OK not to have it together all the time. There's no need to feel shame for the way you feel. Mental health and emotional health need to be nurtured, too.

12. Make a list of things you love about yourself

I Love Me

One way we can be better humans toward one another is by valuing who we are. Who better to start valuing yourself than you?

13. Plan a self-care day where you also treat a friend

Mean Girls

Rejuvenation is the best medicine. Treating a friend lets you give love and make a connection with someone in your life. There are creative things you can do that don't require a ton of money being spent.

Hopefully, these ideas help you connect with people a little better. These ideas are pretty typical, but I have to remind myself of important ways to spend my time. I don't pretend to be an expert on productivity and don't want to judge the way people spend their time. I do know that it's important to seek to understand people.

It's vital that we take time to intentionally see the way people are struggling and let people know they're not alone. It's important to be life-giving to each other. I do know that if we take the time to understand and communicate just slightly more intentionally, it can make all the world of difference.