How To Be a Better Friend, Even When Life Gets Crazy
No matter how busy and stressful life can get—and life can certainly get pretty busy and stressful now and again—there's nothing like a Friday evening catch-up with your best friends to remind you that it's all going to be okay. That's why investing in and nurturing your friendships even when you're juggling a million and one things is so important. If you've found yourself ever feeling like a flake, listen up: It is completely within your reach to be a stellar friend even when your iCal looks like a game of Tetris. Read on for some easy-to-instate tips.
Schedule It In
Ever notice how on Sunday, the week ahead is full of potential, but by Tuesday you've somehow crammed every day and evening with places to go and people to see? Don't let plans with friends get away from you. Instead, schedule them in like you would a doctor appointment (or something way more enjoyable). Then, if you can, make that plan a standing event. Whether it's biweekly coffee or once a month dinner, devote yourself to never flaking. You'll always have something to look forward to, and the regularity of the plans makes it easier to plan for around other commitments.
As you get older, it somehow becomes the big events that are almost easier to plan for. Especially if you and your friends live in different places or live vastly different lives, having something festive on the calendar far in the future (like a reunion or annual Memorial Day weekend trip) is easy, and fun, to plan for.
Text, FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook: It's all fair game. You might initially think that communicating digitally is superficial, but times are surely changing. For example, talking on Facebook Messenger is actually not the worst way to hear how your friend's day is going while you're both at your computers, and it's sometimes an easier way to stay connected and be there for each other than calling or certainly grabbing coffee. Just don't let your phone take the place of real life bonding, ok?
We all multitask. It's a fact of our way of life these days! So, why not turn your daily routine in an opportunity to catch up with friends? If you're running errands at Target or heading to an exercise class, check with a friend to see if they care to join. Travel to and from wherever you're going together, and you'll have even more time to hear what's new.
Engaging in random acts of kindness is one of the most genuine and gratifying ways to say "thinking of you" or "you're my favourite human" to a friend. If you find yourself with a few moments to spare, write a quick postcard and drop it in the mail. Passing by a farmers market? Pick up some flowers or your friend's favourite loaf of bread just because. It's a thoughtful way to be in touch, and you'll even be amazed by how good these types of small gestures make you, the giver, feel.