A recent study considered the impact of social isolation on human health. “The research findings indicate that the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.” WHAT!
So the next time you bag out on a ladies night or brunch with your girls, consider that on par with developing a nasty nicotine habit like smoking.
Don’t smoke, friends. Your health is a valuable gift.
One of the other most valuable gifts my 30’s has given me is solid friendships. After muddling through my formative years with a good friend here and there, it took aging into my 30’s for me to really find my people. You know, the friends you can maintain an ongoing text thread with for years on end without getting annoyed? I think my most long running group friend text is going on 5 years now. Haters will say we’re lame as hell, I say we’re friggin’ awesome. Potato/Tomato, you do you.
These are the people who know your drink order and remember it in times of extreme thirst and dire need. The ones you’d consider leaving your kids to if, God forbid, you kicked it in some horrible accident. The ones who would come over and help you do laundry and put on your socks if you actually didn’t die in the aforementioned accident but broke your pelvis instead and found yourself incapacitated for weeks on end. I mean hey, it happens. I know this from experience.
These are your people, your lady friends, and in my opinion they’re every bit as vital as things like exercise and eating right because they bring a much needed balance to the other crap you’ve got brewing in your jam packed life.
Much the same way that you should be making time for your spouse or significant other, you need to be making time for your friends too. This is something I live and die by. Call it a girl’s night, call it a fun mom dinner, call it Happy Hour, call it whatever you freaking want. You need to be getting out with your people and you need to be doing it often enough that you don’t ever say the words “it’s been too long” when you see each other.
I love my husband, I do, most of the time anyway. We make it a point to go do things together that don’t involve our children as often as we can. But along with that relationship comes responsibility and sometimes you just need a few hours to talk to other people in your trust circle, but don’t necessarily share a bed or DNA with. You feel me on this? He goes to late movies with his friends on some nights, I meet up with mine for dinner on others, and then we come back better people after a few hours of laughs and quality time not spent working, parenting, or husband/wife-ing.
Those reliable lady friends are vital for survival if you’re in the middle of trying to keep children alive, pay bills, do a good job, be a good human, and not hate everyone on social media in your spare time.
Believe me on this. Go out with your friends, and go out with them often. Everybody wins.