Life gets busy, and when things get crazy, one of the first things that women tend to give up is time spent withe their friends. And in times of stress, lowering the priority of friends in your life is one of the worst things you can do. Research suggests that strong social support systems and friends help you live longer, happier lives. In fact, the Mayo Clinic says that studies have shown that “adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).”
In short, call your girlfriends - it’s good for you!!!
I’m generally pretty good about seeing my friends, but I really made it a priority over the past six months. And while my favorite friend activities usually involve eating or drinking (hello brunch and sushi dinners) sometimes it’s nice to have alternatives, so I’ve come up with a list of activities for you to try with your favorites
Join a book club, or even better create one. We all know that book clubs are basically a reason to drink wine and catch up, but even so, reading something together can be a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s nice to have a theme, although from personal experience I would not recommend one that only features books written by the women of the Real Housewives series. This is also something fun to do if your friends are scattered across the country - google chat and facetime are great ways to stay connected.
Get out in nature and go for a hike. I recently learned about the Cleveland Hiking Club and I can’t wait to enlist a friend to come join me on a hike!
Get an astrology or tarot reading together. You don’t have to take this too seriously, but it can be so much fun! I’m trying to teach myself tarot and I’ve been having fun using my friends as test subjects - it usually involves a lot of laughter
Get zen with warm or hot yoga or some other workout you both enjoy. Better yet, do a workout that your friend enjoys that you haven’t tried yet!
Get pampered together. Getting manis and pedis is always a great time to catch up, but if you can, take it to the next level and get couples massages.
Take up a new sport together. This could be anything, that you’re both interested in. I took up tennis with a friend last fall and it was so much fun to connect once a week
Do a craft - candle making, flower arranging, jewelry making, beginners knitting - there’s a class for practically any kind of craft these days, and they’re so much fun to do with a friend
Get a group of friends together for board games
Go see a live performance together - music, theater, a comedy show, or check out the latest exhibit at your local museum together
Take advantage of the programming from your local library. Libraries are such incredible resources for community activities - whether its a lecture or a speaker series or a book reading, expand your mind while connecting with a friend.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, as long as you're making the effort to get together with a friend in person. It will leave you feeling energized and connected, which is really the goal. I hope you try some of these in the next few weeks, and if you have other favorite activities that you do with your girlfriends, leave me a comment! I would love to try them too!