In evaluating the past year, one area for improvement always rises to the top: spending quality time with friends. I’ve carved out an opportunity to spend some time with friends this January. We had a great visit and as we were leaving, we said that “we need to do this more often and should not wait so long between seeing each other.” Yet, as well intentioned as we are, the plans don’t get made and life gets in the way. Well not this time 2020! I want to stop this vicious cycle of putting my friendships on the back burner of my “busy” life.
We need friendships to enjoy life. Friendships assist us with building resilience and overall health. Check this out. These social connections are a critical part of our self-care because we are, after all, social animals. So schedule plans after the close of a visit—text each other and make a plan to talk or go out. Make the commitment to yourself and your friends.
Not only is this about making more time for friends, it’s about being available and present. “While the birth and development of a friendship is an organic thing, it cannot thrive on its own – it will flourish only if it is nurtured!” (Ellie Lisitsa). The Gottman Institute shares some great opportunities to turn towards our friends and nurture our relationships (Gottman Institute article). So take a look and ask yourself, what can you do today to invest in your friendship? Your health will thank you for it!
To take a deeper look into creating connections, contact your Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at or 800-678-6265 or EAP@osumc.edu.