Spending time with your friends is one of the keys to a joyful life. Good friends can boost your mood and help you grow as a person. French novelist Marcel Proust once said “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Life gets busy though, especially as you get older; you have career responsibilities, errands to run, and children to take care of perhaps. So, it can be difficult to find time out of your hectic schedule to hang out with your friends. But don’t worry. If you’re missing out on time with your pals, there are a number of ways you can carve out more time for them.
Check out these 5 easy ways to make more time for your friends.
Make it a routine
If you want to make more time for your friends in your busy schedule, you need to make it part of your routine. Talk to your friends and figure out what day works best for everyone. It could be once a month or once a week, whatever works. Write it down in your calendars and stick to it. When you add your hang outs to your calendar and make it part of your routine, you won’t have trouble showing up.
And if you can, instead of just meeting for coffee once a month, try to make it more interesting. For instance, maybe you can attend a weekly paint night or go to a concert once a month—something a bit more eventful than sitting at a coffee shop. 77% of millennials say their favorite memories came from a real-life event and 69% say that attending such events strengthen their connections with other people.
Hang out right after work
After getting home from a long day at work, sometimes you sit down on the couch and don’t want to get up again. This can cause you to cancel a lot of plans with your friends. So, to make more time for your friends, hang out with them right after work.
After you’re finished work, you’ll still feel like you’re “on the go” and you won’t be in relaxation-mode like you are when you’re at home. The next time you make plans, go from the office straight to a restaurant or event with your pals, then you can go home and chill.
Do chores together
Doing chores with your friends might not seem very fun, but it’s actually a great way to get in some quality time with them and get stuff done at the same time. For instance, you could go grocery shopping, meal prep, do laundry, or go to the gym together.
Spending time with your friends will make your chores more enjoyable since you can have meaningful conversations while you wait for your laundry to dry or in between chopping veggies. And if you’re someone who is always falling behind on chores, doing them with your friends can make you more productive too.
Find a group passion project
Aside from your 9-5 job, it’s important to have a passion project. A passion project is basically doing something that excites and interests you; it could be a project for your own enjoyment or something that will help you advance your own career or make a little extra money on the side. But starting a passion project on your own can feel overwhelming. So, find a passion project you can do with your friends.
Talk to your friends and figure out what you’re all passionate about. You could volunteer for an important cause, start a podcast, create a blog, or start scrapbooking together. When you find something that you’re passionate about doing, you won’t have any trouble finding time for it.
Start a group chat
For the times when you just can’t get together with your friends in person, you should start a group chat. Sure, you could scroll through social media and “like” their posts to keep in touch, but that’s not as meaningful as having real conversation.
You can easily start a group chat with your friends on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, or a number of other apps. A group chat is great because it doesn’t interfere with your daily life like a long phone call would; a friend can send a message in the group chat and you can check it and respond when you have a couple minutes of free time.
Make time to unwind with your friends
Spending time with your friends is a great way to unwind and relax, so you need to remember to make time for it. In fact, according to Time, a good social life can lower stress levels, improve your mood, encourage positive health behaviors, and more. So, call up your friends and make plans with them today.