6 Reasons Why You Need to Make Time for Your Friends

If we place the same importance on our friendships as we do on our work or food, we may just make a positive difference in our lives. Setting aside time to spend with our friends, even though you may be too busy, is good for your well-being. Even if it’s a few minutes every couple of weeks or a month, both you and them will feel better about it.

If you’ve been neglecting to make time for your friends, below is a quick guide to help you realize why it can be so important, along with a few tips and steps on how to do this.

Photo Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.

How does spending time with friends help you?

Friendships enrich your life and have also been proven to improve your mental and physical health. There are a variety of benefits to making time for your friends, besides having a reason to get out of boredom. There are a few reasons why you should make time for your friends and how it can benefit you:

Reason 1: It helps to strengthen emotional bonds

Good friends can positively impact our well-being. Those with whom you can share both the good and the bad can help with your emotional support. How do you receive that support? Try a few of these:

  • It’s all about planning: make plans and schedule regular meet-ups with your friends. Try simple things such as grabbing a cup of coffee, a meal, or going to the park for a walk. Do it regularly – weekly or monthly—and pencil it in with them. Sharing a simple message can go a long way. 
  • Keep in touch regularly: Create a WhatsApp group with your friends and share funny stories or memes. Use your social media platforms to share videos and images of your social adventures. 

Reason 2:  It encourages a sense of belonging

When we are around our friends, we feel a sense of belonging, which is great for our self-esteem and confidence. It is also important for your well-being. Ways to foster this include:

  • Joining group activities: start a book club, join a hobby group, or join a sports team with your friends so you can enjoy time together. Participating in group activities that everyone enjoys can be great fun!
  • Create a tradition: planning regular traditions such as going on a holiday with your friends once a year for a few days or celebrating friendship anniversaries on a day out can help to strengthen bonds between friends.

Reason 3:  It aids in mental well-being

When you are going through some form of anxiety or stress, or perhaps feeling a bit down and out, having some good friends around you can help. How do you leverage this? Try these out:

  • Being open about your situation: Genuine friends appreciate open and honest communication. When you are feeling down or confused and you share your feelings with your friends by being vulnerable, it helps to build deeper and more legitimate connections as well as enhance support.  
  • Talk to them, but also listen:  Talking to them about your life is one thing, but people often appreciate those who listen to them. Making sure you are there for them, as they are for you, can nurture friendships. Offering your support is a two-way street. 

Reason 4: It can promote positive behaviors

Did you know that there is a high chance you are being influenced by the people you hang out with? This LinkedIn article has more on that: Have you ever heard the saying, “You are the sum of the 5 people you hang around with“? Always make sure your influence in the friendship is positive. A few ways to do that are:

  • Be motivated and accountable: sharing similar goals is great for friendships. Anything from watching matches of the same sports team to getting better grades. Establishing mutual goals and showing your friends the importance of being motivated can help them too. 
  • Celebrating their wins: when you celebrate your friends’ accomplishments and vice versa, it promotes positive behaviors, appreciation, and recognition.
  • Resisting temptation: having the power to influence your friends positively can help them resist temptations. Friends who have low self-control can resist temptations more easily when they are around supportive friends. 
  • Being kind: is simple to do and highly effective. Being kind to your friends enforces positive behaviors in them too. When they see good qualities in others, it motivates them to be the same.

Reason 5: It can help reduce stress 

When you spend time with your friends, it can greatly reduce your stress, especially when fun and laughter are involved. Tips on how to make the most of this include:

  • Planning fun activities: organizing a fun day out or an exciting activity such as game nights, movie nights, bowling afternoons, or spending the afternoon at the beach can be great fun and help you to throw all your worries away, perhaps even help you to see your stresses from a different perspective.
  • Be spontaneous: Have you ever noticed how sometimes it’s the spontaneous plans we make that are more enjoyable than the ones we planned? Staying open to spontaneity and adventure is a great way to nurture friendships and reduce stress.

Reason 6: Helping with your fitness levels

Keeping active can help your cardiovascular health as well as your mood. What better way to engage in active programs than with friends? A few tips on how to do that:

  • Join a gym together: getting a gym membership together with your friends is not only fun but can also help to keep you going.
  • Start a sporting activity together: There are plenty of sporting activities to do both outdoors and indoors, and doing this with friends is a great way to spend time with them and get the benefits of it for your health too.