6 Ways To Increase That Important Girlfriend Time In Mid-Life
The last few weeks have been intense for me. I have been very busy, juggling a lot of different things, travel, family, clients, and as a result, my stress levels have increased. I wasn’t aware of how stressed I really was until last night. Why? Because, after a long time, I got a chance to meet with my girlfriends in one of our favorite coffee shops. We spent the time laughing, supporting each other, exchanging ideas, sharing our tough moments and our happiest moments. I felt such a release of stress. I also felt more energized and engaged than I had in a long time. I realized, once again, how important girlfriend time is to my health and wellbeing.
For that reason, I want to share with you why girlfriend time is so important for all women but specifically mid-life women.
When human beings experience stress, the body triggers a hormonal response to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible. It is a survival mechanism that helped our ancestors to struggle with dangers. Some studies have suggested that women, unlike men, also have other responses to deal with stress through the oxytocin hormone synthetization. It seems that when this hormone is released it reduces the fight or flight response and encourages us to gather with other women instead, countering stress and producing a calming effect.
Different studies have found that spending time with our friends is good for our health because it reduces blood pressure, our heart rate, and cholesterol levels. Spending time with our girlfriends also helps to delay mental and physical decline. Another surprising finding is that our relationships have a powerful influence on our longevity and happiness. In fact, researchers say that loneliness kills, being as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.
For all these reasons, girlfriend time is important for our health and overall wellbeing. So why is it, so difficult for us to spend this much-needed quality time with our girlfriends?
As mid-life women, we have a lot of responsibilities, such as our careers, and family. We usually put everything else before ourselves, taking care of others first and forgetting about our needs or desires. If there is anything I have learned at this point in my life, I have learned the importance of taking care of myself as well. In the past, I thought that this way of thinking was selfish, but I realize now that taking time for you isn’t selfish but is self-love at its best. Spending time with your girlfriends is a wonderful way to dedicate time to yourself, to your self-care and self-love. Your loved ones should understand this, but if they don’t, they will come to understand when they see how much happier you are after spending that girlfriend time.
Girlfriend time is a form of wellness and it's important to find a way to make the time to spend with your girlfriends.
- Check and change your priorities. For example, you can reduce the time you spend on social media and prioritize real social interactions.
- Re-organize your time in order to find moments to share with other friends.
- Be proactive! Don't wait until your girlfriend suggests you spending time together.
- Fix a time, place and activity to meeting with your girlfriends: i.e. every two Wednesdays, at 7 pm we are going to walk together and then we are going to drink something in our favorite place.
- Re-connect with people from your past. Maybe, life has separated you from them or vice versa, but nowadays, it is very easy to be in touch with them again through social media.
- Meet new people. For example, think about your past hobbies or new ones do you like to learn, take classes, join a group or a club, and go out on your own to fun local events.
Want more tips on how to live a healthy and well life after 40, 50 and beyond?