How to Be a Better Friend, Even When Life Gets Crazy
We've all been there: dealing with the crazy busy day that turns into an insanely busy week, which then becomes an outrageously busy month… By the end of it, your mom will barely speak to you and your best friend has almost forgotten your name.
No matter how busy and stressful life can get, there’s nothing like a Friday evening catch-up with your best friends to remind you that it’s all going to be okay. That’s why it’s important to invest in and nurture your friendships, even when you’re juggling a million and one things. If you've ever found yourself feeling like a flake, listen up: It is completely within your reach to be a stellar friend even when your iCal looks like a game of Tetris. Read on for some easy-to-instate tips on regaining your BFF title.
Ever notice how on Sunday, the week ahead is full of potential, but by Tuesday you’ve somehow crammed every day and evening with places to go and people to see? Don’t let plans with friends get away from you. Instead, schedule them in like you would a doctor’s appointment (or something way more enjoyable). Then, if you can, make that plan a standing event. Whether it’s bi-weekly coffee or once-a-month dinner, devote yourself to never flaking. You’ll always have something to look forward to, and the regularity of the plans makes it easier to plan around other commitments.
As you get older, the big events—weddings, baby showers, and the like—are almost easier to plan for than quick catch-ups. Especially if you and your friends live in different places or live vastly different lives, having something festive on the calendar far in the future (like a reunion or annual Memorial Day weekend trip) is easy and fun to plan for. Make a point of scheduling a special event yearly with your nearest and dearest.
Text, FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook: It’s all fair game. You might initially think that communicating digitally is superficial, but times are surely changing. For example, talking on Google Chat is actually not the worst way to hear how your friend’s day is going while you’re both at your computers, and it’s sometimes an easier way to stay connected and be there for each other than calling or grabbing coffee. Just don’t let your messenger take the place of real-life bonding, okay?
Engaging in random acts of kindness is one of the most genuine and gratifying ways to say thinking of you or you’re my favorite human to a friend. If you find yourself with a few moments to spare, write a quick postcard and drop it in the mail. Passing by a farmers market? Pick up some flowers or your friend’s favorite loaf of bread just because. It’s a thoughtful way to be in touch, and you’ll even be amazed by how good these types of small gestures make you, the giver, feel.
We all multitask—it’s become second nature these days. So, why not turn your daily routine into an opportunity to catch up with friends? If you’re running errands at Target or heading to an exercise class, check with a friend to see if they care to join. Travel to and from wherever you’re going together, and you’ll have even more time to hear what’s new.