When we’re younger, our friends are everything! Making friends is never easier than when we’re little; all we have to do is say “Be my friend?” and the deal is sealed, sometimes for life. As we get older, we tend to see less of our friends – or fail to make new ones, often due to our careers, time restraints, distance, personal issues and our family obligations. However, let’s never forget how important friendships are; a valued friend is a treasure that we can’t let slip away. Good friends are there for us through thick and thin; they boost us up and let us be our true selves. Even though we may have solid relationships with our significant others and our kids, we still need to carve out time for our friends. Let’s learn how to strengthen those special bonds and make amazing memories.
- Connect in real time
Social media can be a great tool to get updates on what your friends are up to, especially the ones who live far away, but it is no substitute for one-on-one time. It’s time to do less scrolling and get rolling! We’re never really ‘too busy’ to get together with friends; just like all things in life that really matter … we make the time.
- Make new memories
It’s a common trap when we get older that when we spend time with old pals, we tend to reminisce about the fun or shenanigans we used to have, instead of actively making new memories. How about expanding those experiences to do something brand new? Skip the same old hangouts and embark on something you’ve never done together. What matters is that you’ve set aside quality time while getting out of that rut and moving forward with your friendship. Whether you’re 30 or 80, there’s always somewhere new to go.
- Switch up your own routine
When life gets really busy, our friendships seem to take the brunt of it. After all, we can’t skip out on work or our families, but we can cancel plans with our friends. Why not include your friend in some of the more ‘routine’ things you do, such as going to the gym, taking the kids to the park or running a few errands? Also, when you host family events, invite a friend over as well…the more the merrier! Although one-on-one time with friends is ideal, when we can’t make that work, a compromise is the next best thing.
- Get outdoors & get active – together
I talk to a lot of people who are working towards making their own health and fitness a priority, so why not recruit some friends and do it together? Not only is there strength in numbers, there is encouragement, fellowship, and fun! Sign up for fitness or yoga classes together, start a running or walking group, pack up the kids and go camping or just a winter walk in a forest. Not only are you making new memories, you’re keeping yourself – and your friendship – healthy.
For those of us who are lucky to have childhood friends we’re still close with, we know how precious those relationships are. However, making new friends at any age is also important as they help us to expand our minds, our experiences and our lives in general. Like all things worth having, friends take effort and commitment. Go ahead and make a move – start fresh and start making plans. If you’ve lost touch and want to reconnect, don’t worry, they are just a text or a phone call away.
“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” – Vincent Van Gogh