Kerdisha St. Louis

Very recently I found myself learning a hard lesson. While alone time is important for productivity, creativity, and inspiration, spending quality time with friends and family is just as important.

As we get older, and life gets faster – the time we once had for our friends, seems to diminish. It’s hard to miss at first, but soon your wine dates are being replaced by endless meetings, once carefree afternoons are busy and scheduled, and the phone calls or regular texts you used to make daily to chat with your best friend are slowly turning into every other week (or month!) catch up calls/messages.

Fitting in time for friends is sadly one of the first things to go when life gets busy, and before you know it – you hardly know the person you used to call your best friend.

This fact is though, that while this is tragic, it’s also preventable! Spending time with friends is one of the few pleasures in life that can cost you very little, but reward you substantially. It is also proven to be one of the best ways to combat stress. Spending time with your friends can help melt away the cares of the world, and leave you a better person all around.

We all have times in our lives when our priorities aren’t really on socializing. Whether it’s a new guy, a new job, or something else entirely that has captured all of our attention, it’s important to find a way to make time for our friendships.

Carve out time for your friends, by scheduling it in. One way to do this successfully, is to find common goals you both might have, and spend your time together working on reaching those goals –accomplishing two things at the same time, and making it easier to find time to spend with friends. You could also look out for special occasions to spend time with each other –these events don’t have to be huge social events.

No matter how busy you may be, keeping in touch can be as simple as initiating a conversation every once in awhile, just to let them know you care about them. They’ll understand if you can’t hang out multiple times a week as long as you still care enough to check in. And you’ll never regret being a good friend.

Spending more time with your friends and family is beneficial to your mental well-being, as well as your relationships. With friends and family your good times are better, and your sorrows are shared –so don’t overlook this important area in life! Research shows that spending time with friends and family makes a big difference when it comes to happiness.

Social time is especially important for happiness –even for introverts. Studies have proven that the amount of time spent with friends and family –goes a long way towards boosting happiness –even more so than an increased income!

Friendships are important and they require work, from both parties. A friendship has to be a two way street, and if someone feels like they’re always doing all the work, it’s only a matter of time before they just give up and move on to someone who actually seems interested in hanging out with them. So pick up a phone and call your friends today. You won’t regret it.

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The KSChronicles are the observations and insights of blogger and journalist Kerdisha St.Louis. Each article seeks to invoke a reaction and/or introspection from readers in Dominica and the Diaspora on various thought provoking issues and topics. The column is published every Friday.