When were young, our girlfriends were what kept us entertained and bustling with busy. Now, it’s our spouses, our kids and our jobs and it’s hard to keep up – so the friendships are often the first thing to go.
But, if if the Golden Girls, Sex and the City and the gals of Friends prove anything (because T.V. shows are real life and stuff) we all know that our girlfriends bring something special to our lives.
But did you know there are actually life long health benefits of keeping those friendships alive? Yes ladies, Girls Night Out actually does wonders for your mental and physical well being.
Well, within reason. Too many nachos with too muchÂ imbibing and you could fast undo that health benefit… but I digress.
I’ve long known that my friends were the part of what helped me endure some of the toughest parts of my life. I always knew that they made me feel tougher when I should have felt weak and they gave me that extra boost when I need the resiliency to make it through.
My girlfriends and I often talk about how we’ll be the “Golden Girls” one day and debate who will be Blanche vs. Dorothy, Sophia and Rose – all while our husbands are giving us the look of “What about us?” from the other side of the room. (For the record…I’m Blanche…but less trampish AND Dorothy – because I’m a teacher by trade)
The truth is, our girlfriends matter. They keep us going, they give us sanity when the rest of the pieces and parts of our world around us are crumbling. They give us a reprieve from stress and allow us to be our truest selves.Â Little did I know there was science to back up the need for girlfriends as well!
I was reading an article titled – Men Live Longer if Married, Women if They Have Girlfriends Â (compelling, right?!) and it shared information and links to studies about how women who are socially isolated are less likely to recover from cancer diagnosis. Additionally it shared that in 2008, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties resulted in better brain health.
The consensus…when women interact with and rely on their friends… they have better overall health both mentally and physically.Â
So with that in mind, I challenge you to recommit some time each week to reconnecting with your gal pals because your health obviously depends on it ladies!
Tips for Fostering Friendship:
- Send a quick text during your lunch – sometimes a “conversation” via text is all you can fit in, but it’s better than not connecting at all.
- Long commute to work? Make that your time for gal pal chatter.
- Stay-at-home mothers going crazy? Set up once a week Skype coffee dates while the kids watch morning cartoons if you live too far to meet up in person. If you live close enough, throw the kids in the car, jammies and all and do breakfast together! Who says you have to be all “put together” to get out of the house to see your friends?
- Do it Desperate Housewives-style and play cards once a week while sharing the latest gossip.Â The time and commitment will be worth it, I promise you that.
How do you foster your friendships? Do you feel a renewed sense of commitment knowing that well nourished friendships can translate into better health and well being?Â
Image: Julie Campbell