One way to keep your friends close is to include them in the journeys of your life. If you've recently made an important decision, let your close friends know. If you 've undertaken a new wellness journey, like a fitness routine or new nutritional routine, no matter how many other times you told your friends you were turning over a new leaf, do it again. A true friend will never stop encouraging you.
On the other hand, if you're going through a rough time, don't hold it in. Writing and wellness research shows that when someone goes through a difficult time, the more friends they have, the better they go through it. What is also true is that if you go through something difficult and keep it secret, that secrecy impedes your recovery. In the latter scenario, the more friends you have, the worse off you are for keeping your pain a secret (because you're keeping it from so many people--it's like you have to constantly pretend that you're ok). How can you reach out? Here are a few ideas:
- Set up an "exercise date." Call a nearby friend to reconnect and do something good for your bodies at the same time. If there's a class or activity you've wanted to try, taking the plunge with a friend can make it feel less daunting. Or simply take a walk with your friend instead of going out to eat, and use the time to catch up. You'll save money and calories!
- Make a phone date. Catch up with a friend or family member who lives far away. Block out some time for it so that you won't be interrupted. Your friend or relative will surely be thrilled to hear from you — and you'll get to talk about the changes you're making in your life. It'll be uplifting!
- Reach out. Get back in touch with a friend or family member who seems to have slipped away. Whether you reach out by phone, e-mail, or letter doesn't matter; the only thing that matters is showing that you still care.
- Write about it. Write about your issue and then trust a friend to read it. Be sure that your friend is an encourager because sharing difficult information with someone who isn't affirming can set you back in your journey to healing.