We all lead lives that are burdened with busy schedules, deadlines, daily chores and endless to-do lists. It can be difficult to find time to ourselves much less time to spend with friends, but it is important to remember that these relationships play a crucial role in leading a life that is fulfilled, happy and enjoyable. Surrounding ourselves with those we love is the best fix for stress and anxiety.
Friends and family brighten our lives and create lasting memories. C.S. Lewis put it best when he said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art … It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” A life without friendship is an empty one.
Here are five ways to help make time for friends regardless of how busy your schedule may be.
Send a Note
Sadly the days of handwritten letters and frequent use of the postal service have fallen to the wayside for more convenient tools like email and text message. While there is certainly nothing wrong with utilizing technology, a handwritten note is far more personal.
Physical mail takes more effort, time, and consideration, and will surely let your friends know that you are making a genuine effort to keep in touch. Text messages and email tend to get deleted and forgotten.
However, handwritten notes are more likely to be treasured. Consider sending a quick note or card weekly / monthly just to keep in touch and let your friends know that they are on your mind. The sentiment is sure to be appreciated.
Phone a Friend
As we get older, it seems that our friends become more spread out. While most of our friends used to live on our block or in our neighborhood, it is likely that many of your friends are now out of state or maybe even across the globe.
A phone call can help lessen the distance and can keep you up to speed on the events and happenings of each others lives. Weekly phone calls, even if they only last a few minutes, are a great way to squeeze in some time for a friend.
Get Tech Savvy
FaceTime and Skype are two great tools to add a personal touch to long distance conversations. While phone calls are nice, there is nothing quite like seeing a friendly face. Too far away for lunch or coffee? Make it a virtual date! Distance and cluttered calendars don’t have to get in the way of taking time to visit with those who mean the most to us.
Work to do? Deadlines to meet? You’re probably not the only one. If you can’t get time to be completely available, try a bit of multitasking.
Study with a friend at the local coffee shop or work on reports in the comfort of your best friend’s living room. Grab a quick snack after Sunday church service. Running kids to soccer practice and dance recitals? Invite a friend. Go grocery shopping together. Friends make everything more fun.
We all carry many different titles: Mom, dad, son, daughter, caregiver, employee, volunteer. These titles each come with their own set of duties and tasks that need to be tended to. Chances are your friends understand full well that you may not always be available to get together, but they love you anyway. They are probably right there in the same boat with you.
Don’t stress over the time you don’t have and focus instead on the time that you do have. If you can get together once a week, that’s great! If once a month or once every other month is all you can manage, then that’s fine, too.
Setting apart time to spend with family and friends doesn’t need to be an added source of stress. Remember, it’s quality, not quantity, that matters most.
A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. —Proverbs 17:17