We are all too busy working, commuting, exercising, and our social life can be zero sometimes. Sitting on your couch and watching X-Factor is not healthy and very bad for your mood and your stress level.
I would love to have a week where I work hard, I catch up with my friends over drinks, I have time to read and write, and then I have some me time. I wish I could do all of that, but it’s difficult. However you can still find time to meet up with friends, with a little bit of organisation and planning.
I have found a way to keep a social life even if I have busy weeks. I employ different strategies to stay in touch with people and still do my personal stuff.
Here are some tips:
Book Date at the Beginning of the Week
Booking an appointment forces you to commit to catch up. Without having it written in your diary, you might not make time to meet up with your friend. You could also book a restaurant or buy a ticket for a show / exhibition in advance so you will ensure a meet up. For instance, I you could to catch up once a month, so the commitment is ensured, and there are no excuses.
I think after work is the best time to catch up with friends. This is a good way to de-stress after a busy day. You are already outside and you can just carry on. Personally, I think it is good to catch up with friends over drinks, or other social pursuits (museum, theatre). This is also a great opportunity to see ‘what’s on’ in the city. Discovering new restaurants/ bars, exhibitions or ballet is very good as you’re sharing an experience.
Weekends are also a good time to catch up with friends. There are two days, so more time. If you other obligations such as chores, gym, grocery shopping or such, it could be quite demanding to find time to spend the whole weekend with friends. What I find interesting is to meet up in the evening, so that you have time to do your chores at the end of the afternoon, or in the morning. I quite like catching up on Friday nights so that I feel that I have plenty of time left for the weekend. Try to find the time during the weekend make an effort every weekend.
Lunch time is a good way to catch up as it is around food, and eating together always gives a good mood. However it is also very difficult if your friends work at the opposite of you. So keep this lunchtime for having a social life with your colleagues, clients and other professional relations. It’s also part of your social life. Keep in mind that you should not have lunch by yourself everyday. Have lunch with at least one or two people every week.
Include Your Friends in Your Activities
Sharing the same activities or projects is also a great way to stay in touch with your friends, as it is in your mutual interests. We all have common ground as we are friends. It could be learning a new language, drawing courses, conferences and so forth. Once you have found a common interest, it can be more motivating to do it with someone else instead of doing it on our own. How about this cooking class or that salsa class that you want to take but you just don’t feel like doing it on our own? So get an extra push by doing it with a friend.
Just try to find the best options for you and commit to a social life on a weekly basis. You don’t need to go to the pub, but take an opportunity to discover something new and then experience it with friends. Commit to do something at least once a week and then increase your frequency.