Every time you check social media, you see another old friend announcing a big life event. And while weddings, baby showers, and housewarming parties are a great chance to see your old college bestie, you shouldn’t have to wait until one of you has another significant life event to reconnect. And while keeping up with friends can be hard as an adult, it’s not impossible! Here are a few ideas on how to maintain friendships while keeping up with your “adulting” schedule.
Why Adult Friendships Are Important
When you’re a kid, friends are everything! You listen and learn from each other, you lean on each other for support, and you grow together. And this is just as important when you’re an adult! A solid friendship can help provide support, accountability, and a sense of belonging as you face all of those responsibilities that come with growing up. In fact, maintaining adult friendships has proven beneficial in more ways than one!
- Social connections found in adult friendships can reduce stress levels, which can, in turn, lower blood pressure, reports WebMD.
- Friends can help your career. One LinkedIn survey showed that about 85% of all jobs are found through a network of friends and personal connections.
- Adult friendships can impact your lifespan more positively than exercising and can have a similar effect on your long-term health as quitting smoking, according to Live Science.
- Live Science also reports that strong adult friendships have been linked to a lowered overall risk of health problems.
Making Friends as an Adult: Where Do You Start?
When you think back on early adulthood, what do you remember? Carefree days? Fewer responsibilities? More social time? As it turns out, you’re probably not the only one. According to CNN, most adults make more new social connections in their early 20s as compared to new relationships after 25. But with a little bit of effort, your social circle can keep growing for the rest of your life! Here are a few ideas for making friends as an adult:
- Take a class. When attending a group activity or trying a unique workout class, keep in mind that every class you attend is an opportunity for connection. You’ll have something in common with everyone in the room already! Plus, trying new things is a simple way to boost your overall happiness.
- Socialize with your coworkers. So, maybe your peer in the next cubicle over doesn’t seem like best friend material. But you never know who might be in their friend circles! According to Barna, many Americans meet their closest friends through coworkers or other friends, so if a colleague invites you to a party or after-work happy hour, GO!
- Use the internet. Apps like Hey! VINA can help you connect with potential new friends in your area (it’s for women only!). Want to meet larger groups of people? Meetup is a great way to find people who share similar hobbies and interests, whether you’re into art, sports, reading, fashion, etc.
How to Maintain Friendships When You’re Busy
Whether you’re trying to build out your circle of friends or you need new ways to stay in touch with old friends, here are a few ways to maintain friendships, both old and new.
- Schedule weekly or monthly phone calls. Call your best friend while you’re taking care of mundane tasks, like when one of you is grocery shopping or commuting to and from the office. Make the most of that time—even if it’s only five minutes at a time.
- Start a new tradition. When you were young, it might have been Taco Tuesdays or an annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party. Now it’s time to start new traditions! Meet up for a relaxing Paint and Sip night once a month, head to a concert together, or have a casual dinner at your favorite place—just the two of you.
- Send each other notes or gifts in the mail. Is there something that will always make you think of your bestie? Maybe they have a thing for flamingos or collecting sassy coffee mugs. Sending a small gift or note every once in a while can help you feel more connected with a friend, even if you don’t talk to them every day.
- Take a road trip! If all else fails, drive to visit a long-distance friend or find somewhere you can meet in the middle for a fun weekend of making memories. Both of you can enjoy taking a step away from the everyday hustle and bustle to rekindle your friendship.
How to Make Friendships Last a Lifetime
No matter what your friends are like or how long you’ve had them, the best way to maintain your friendship is to spend quality time together! Take a night to catch up with your best friends over a bottle of wine and a one-of-a-kind painted creation. Make some colorful new memories at a Paint and Sip or Coffee and Canvas event at a Painting with a Twist near you!