4 Clever Activities That Make Your Friendships Better
Fact: Moms need their mom friends. And between the work of mothering, wife-ing, homemaking, and working inside or outside of the home, sometimes our friendships get put on the back burner. But this is unwise and more easily fixed than you might think.
Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock, the creators of The HerStories Project website, a blog about women's friendships, and co-editors of the friendship anthology The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship, say, “It doesn't necessarily take heroic efforts to maintain closeness. Perhaps a weekend getaway, a weekly yoga and coffee date, or an afternoon shopping spree isn't realistic. Sometimes all it takes is for us to show up—really show up—with our girlfriends. Even if we are integrating our girlfriend time into the activities that characterize whatever stage of life we are in, that doesn't mean the time together isn't valuable. Spending a quick hour pushing strollers, arriving early to school pick-up with a pair of Starbucks lattes, or sharing a picnic at a Little League game may be all it takes to reconnect, as long as we can really maximize those minutes together by being present, empathetic, and generous with our time and focus.”
This purposeful presence is necessary to maintaining friendships. But what if the activities we chose to do with our girlfriends actually brought us closer together?
Like reaching for the heavier weights at the gym or choosing to read the book that we just can’t put down, there are certain activities that pack a powerful friendship punch and actually make our friendships better.
Nikki Wallace Wilson is a business and life coach for moms, and her favorite topic is empowering moms to re-join the workforce or start their own business. She explains the four types of activities that will actually strengthen your friendships with your girlfriends.
Going on an adventure
Nikki says, “Having an adventure with your bestie allows you to create a new story together sans everyday distractions outside your role of spouse, parent, etc., and you both will learn so much about yourself while creating a new story to tell.” The adrenaline you feel when you’re doing something wild (everyone’s definition of what this is differs!) is contagious and bonding. So if you have an inkling of I want to try this, immediately say yes and invite your friend to come along for the ride! And if your girlfriend invites you along for her adventure, say yes! Your friendship will be better for it!
Learning something new
Nikki says, “Learning something new and creating new memories with someone you care about is a great way to bond. For example, if you take a class on baking tarts, every time you bake a tart in the future, you will be reminded of your friend and how wonderful she is even if she is miles away.” There’s a certain vulnerability in revealing your imperfect, learning self, so try something new and bring your friendship closer!
Trying something completely out of your comfort zone
Nikki says, “Sometimes it's easier to expand your horizons by trying something new when you have a friend there to give you encouragement. So if you are trying trapeze-walking to conquer your fear of heights, it may be easier (and more fun) to have a friend there telling you that you can do it.” This step out of your comfort zone with a friend is an instant intimacy creator. So go for it—together! It’ll be a memory in the making—a great story to tell later—and something you’ll always share!
Trying something old or nostalgic that may bring you back to your youth
Nikki says, “Revisiting a past hobby with a friend[s] often reminds us of a time when things were simple—when we had little responsibilities, and we could do whatever our hearts desired and were blissfully happy. It's nice to be reminded of positive thoughts, and doing this with good friends improves our moods and our friendships.” There’s nothing like feeling young again or sharing a slice of your story with a new friend. Making that childhood recipe or road-tripping to that old movie theatre you always went to sends the message that you’re sharing something important with your new friend. The result? A fun time and a closer friendship!
What would you add to this list? What do you love doing with your girlfriends?Read More