Tips for staying connected to your tribe when you’re always on the go!
I have a very busy group of friends. One of my best friends is an army wife with two children, another is a social worker and a mother of a toddler. My friend Eric is pulling 24-hour shifts as a medical school student.
I am writing daily while looking after my toddler as a stay-at-home mom. Our lives are hectic! Thankfully, we have managed to keep our friendships solid even with our busy lives.
When we are constantly busy with our careers, we sometimes put our needs last. Social time is a need and friendships are important. Our friends have helped us get through some of the toughest times in our lives. They have listened to us vent when we needed to. In some cases, they have talked us off ledges. They have laughed and cried with us.
Many of us have that rare friend that doesn’t require as much maintenance because they have been in our lives for many years. These friends are the ones you could go a year without talking to, and you pick up where you left off with them.
These friendships are rare and wonderful. These friends are “the OG’s” of friendship. However, they need some love too!
Friendships are relationships that require work to thrive, just like a marriage. These things are worth doing so a friendship doesn’t end up being a casualty of your busy life.
For the friend who is an early riser
When I have my coffee in the morning, I usually send a message to my friend Lacey. Lacey is usually up with the sunrise and I know she is having her coffee before going to work. If she doesn't answer, at least she knows I’m thinking about her. She also does the same for me, it is a morning habit we have developed before our day gets insanely busy.
For the friend who lives far away
My cousin moved away two years ago. We miss each other so we make time to talk on the phone. Usually, it is when she's driving her kids to school or when I am doing housework. We try to squeeze in that social time, even if it’s only for a few minutes. We make this effort to talk daily and have maintained our close bond even though we live fifteen hours apart. Thank goodness for Bluetooth!
For the friend who has been there since the beginning
My husband always says that newer friendships require more effort than friendships that have formed during our younger years. My friend Pam and I have been friends for almost twenty years. She works very hard and is also a mother, so we don’t get together a lot. If I have free time coming up or vice-versa, we message each other to plan a movie night. This may be once every couple of months, but it is still important to make the time.
For the friend who is absolutely swamped
My friend Eric is in medical school. He is working very long hours at the hospital and barely has time to talk to anyone. I miss him, but I know his time is limited. I send him funny memes and pictures to give him a laugh at work. He sends me funny videos on Instagram. We communicate in this manner until we have the time to get together. Memes, while silly to most of us, can brighten someone’s day. Especially if that someone has to deal with high-stress situations constantly.
Friends are our support system. In many cases, we wouldn’t be the people we are without their presence in our lives. If you feel a friendship slipping away, be sure to reach out and let that person know you are thinking of them.
- Avoid canceling plans with your busy friends. Life happens, but keep in mind it may be a while before you will get to see them again.
- If your friend is going through a hard time or transition, be available. Even if it's just making a quick call to them to check-in or sending an article of interest to them via email. They need you now more than ever, even if they aren't saying it.
We are all busy right now. However, self-care is important to maintain our sanity. In my opinion, maintaining our friendships is self-care. When we keep our friends close, we are nurturing our support system.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”-Jon Katz