3 SCARY GAMES #5
Julie Chen Opens Up About Her #SpreadTheHealth Challenge
All month long, the hosts of CBS'sThe Talkare taking small steps toward positive change withPrevention's#SpreadTheHealth Challenge. First up, we talk with host Julie Chen about how she's made more time to connect with her mom—and what she's learned along the way.
Julie's #SpreadTheHealth Challenge:Connect
Her goal:Call and talk to her mom every day
What inspired you to take on this #SpreadTheHealth challenge?
Even though my cell phone allows me to "connect" with a million people through social media, texting, or e-mailing, it was making me less connected with someone I love and need to be closer to. It was too easy to just text my mom a question or a quick hello. But I wanted to see her face and hear her voice. When you talk via FaceTime or on the phone, you have a real conversation. Other topics and details naturally come up that you might not get from texting.
How did you find time to make it work?
We made time to talk every evening after my mom and dad are done with dinner. It was easiest because that's the end of the day when everyone is home, but not too close to bedtime when you're too tired to talk. We discussed what's going on with all of her doctor appointments, and she reminded me about traditions for Chinese New Year (which is fast approaching), like having oranges and other Chinese sweet treats around the house.
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What was your biggest challenge?
Figuring out the best time to reach my mom without making a prior plan. I soon realized I should call around 7:30 PM because they will have just had dinner and will definitely be home!
What was your biggest success?
In the past week, I really felt reconnected and newly bonded with my mom. We got to talk about a wide range of topics, and we got more involved in each other's day-to-day lives.
Did you reap any unexpected benefits?
I realized that this challenge wasn't a chore, but something I looked forward to. One night when my husband was out at a business dinner, I thought I would eat dinner alone. But instead, my mom and I FaceTimed while we ate. It was great! The more time I spend with my mom, the more pearls of wisdom she gives me—be it about my health, the way I parent, how I interact with my husband, you name it!
As a result of these daily conversations, we're also going to spend a lot more time together (in person) in 2019. I casually mentioned an upcoming trip I am taking to New York, and because we are talking so much now, I thought to invite her and my dad. I love it!
(Ready for your own #SpreadTheHealth Challenge? Get inspiration here!)
What did you learn from the experience?
I learned that no matter what age you are, you never stop needing your mom! I hope we'll talk daily now by FaceTime. We may miss a day here and there, but it's okay, because the constant regular contact makes it that much easier to pick up where we left off. As a result, I'm learning how to be my mom's friend and give back to her instead of me being the one who receives all the benefits of the relationship. I get to hear about things in her life and give her advice if she needs it, too.
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