It’s not easy to make friends as we get older as most of the friendships we made in the past were because of school, job changes and simply being in more socially forward environments. Now with most of us in our long term careers, and some people even working from home, it’s tough to make new friends, and also maintain the ones we already have.
According to professionals in the wellness space, strengthening friendships is important for a variety of reasons. Friendships are something that can help us through many tough times, but also are great when we have exciting news to share. The support friends provide is something that we need, even as we age. Below are some more unique ways that we can strengthen friendships that don’t require us to always go above and beyond.
“No one really sends letters these days”, says Alexander Burgemeester the founder of Ireland Wide. “But it’s so nice when you receive one because it’s so much more special than getting a text or email. A letter really signifies that you were thinking of that person and wanted to write them a little note to update you on their life events. A letter can be such a fun way to keep connections with friends because of how infrequently people send them. They are special and you can keep them for many years and even look back on them to read over again.
So send your friends a random letter here and there to just let them know you were thinking of them, and to use nice stationery to make the experience even more special. It doesn’t cost much at all to send them a nice note, and in many ways a letter is much more unique and thoughtful to send than a gift as words can mean so much more than a physical item!”
Romantic couples aren’t the only pairs that should get to have all the fun when it comes to dating. Friends can “date” too according to Miss Vivi Yu the founder of Vagus.net. “I love to plan special evenings with me and my close friends, whether it’s at my house, their house or out on the town. I think it’s important to “date” your friends because it’s how you stay connected and get to know them better. You could be friends with them for years and still find out something new each time you hang out.
I like to find more creative ways to hang out like doing a paint night at my house where we get cheap paints and canvases and watch a tutorial online and then try to recreate the picture ourselves. I think this is such a fun idea because you get to see everyone’s personal creations while also being able to chat and catch up. I know we all have busy lives, which is why a date is a perfect idea because it’s one day where everyone makes room in their calendar which makes it easier to follow through with seeing one another.”
Ben Bozzay founder of Tech Lockdown says that, “volunteering is one way I like to make sure I maintain my friendships. Since many of my friends have different jobs, it’s tough to always make time to see one another, and months could pass without seeing each other face to face. When we volunteer together, it makes it easier to see my friends more frequently, and we also get to give back to the community.
When we volunteer, we get a chance to catch up, and oftentimes afterwards we go for some food or hang out even longer. Having volunteering in common helps to keep our friendships strong, as we always have something to talk about.”
Another more unique and simple way you can try and strengthen your relationships with your friends is to just use your free time to send them a message or call them. Check in with your friends with a simple “how’s it going?” and allow the conversation to take off from there. Sometimes it’s not a lengthy call or text, but just checking in helps to maintain connections, and to be able to still be involved in your friends’ lives.
Most people appreciate the little things, which is why spending the time to send a quick message can actually brighten someone’s day, as they know you were thinking of them!