I took the weekend off! I spent quality time with my girlfriends - without kids or husbands! We ate, drank, talked and laughed like I hadn’t done in a long time!! With the crazy pace of life these days, of kids, the school run, after school activities, cooking, household jobs and work is exhausting. We take on so much and never realise just how under the pump we are until we stop - or are forced to when you get sick. When was the last time you took time for yourself?
Throughout life we take on different roles, and at certain times some need to take centre stage. At the moment for me it is still Mummy Mode. Best Friend and Career Caroline has been on the back burner, but not on this weekend.
Living life in balance, is important to our overall health and wellbeing. This includes our emotional health and having support. Knowing there is someone there to listen without judgement, and sometimes without a response is essential. Just voicing your thoughts can help to organise them. Speaking about your worries and fears somehow makes them less of a big monster. Advice isn't always needed, but having a trusted point of view can be invaluable.
A study from Brigham Young University in the US found that strong ‘real world’ relationships can help you live longer. Supportive friendships help you cope with stress, reducing physical and emotional effects. Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad from the study stated “When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks,” So taking the time to connect with ‘real’ people is worthwhile and beneficial for your health. (1)
I'm lucky I have a gorgeous group of girl friends who have seen me through the fun times and the hard times, without judgment and with lots of love. We may not always see each other (especially as we live all over the country!) but that doesn't mean we don't care for one another. This is the benefit of friendship and support.
Traditionally we lived in tight knit communities with family around the corner. These days we don't often have that luxury especially with work commitments taking people all over the world. Friends become our family and support system. Having and extended community is so important in developing a sense of belonging. A nurturing community of friends can also give you the courage to take big steps in life.
So what can you do if you to nurture your friendships?
- Make an appointment or a club with your friends to catch up - you get so much more than just story recommendations going to a book club (or wine club) when you meet up every month.
- Go to and exercise class together. It's a great way to encourage each other and health benefits too.
- Get involved in mothers groups when your babies are little. Just hearing similar stories from other parents is a great way to feel you are not alone.
- Make a monthly time for a Skype catch up when the kids are asleep - very handy if you live all over the country.
- Write a letter - the personalised touch of having something in writing is a great way to make a connection with your friend.
- Call for no reason other than to say ‘hi’ and to let the other person know that you are thinking of them. It doesn't take more than a minute but can help make someone's day. Too often we think of our friends, but never let them know.
So, cherish your extended family - I do.
Thankyou ladies – we will be doing this again soon xx
Image Credit - Girls Weekend