Over the last few weekends I have forgone the ugg boots and trackies for heels and hairspray. Why? To hang with some girlfriends! It’s a past time that-as a mother/ wife/ chauffeur/ nurse/ counsellor/ drink filler upper and toast getter we push to the wayside.
I say enough is enough! It’s time to be ‘me’ again, even if just for a few hours, to chat without interruption (do you even remember what that’s like?), have a drink without burning your mouth through scoffing (although champagne is pretty safe there), and Heaven forbid- dance! It’s not that I don’t enjoy being home with the family (even though all 4 children had gastro this past week). Sometimes I love chilling out at home with children climbing all over me, putting loads of washing on, watching House of Cards and helping with homework. It’s just that- sometimes- I miss being ME!
I realise that what you need to be yourself will differ for everyone. It might be curling up with a book/trashy mag with a cup of tea or it might be abseiling naked but for me it has to involve a dear friend or two, putting make up on, and hitting a funky wine bar. If the night continues and the world’s problems have been solved amongst us, I might even bust a move on the nearest dance floor.
To me, gorgeous friendships are just as important as fitness and nutrition for health and well being. In a world of screens, emojis and Angry Birds, will our close friendships and social skills become a thing of the past? Will we forget what ‘how are you?’ REALLY means? Will we accept a text in lieu of a face to face conersation from someone we have known for years? Not if I can help it! My girlfriends are on ‘drinks’ call whether they be girls from school days, current school mums or clients!
I applaud their diligence in ‘helping’ to find ‘me’ again these last few weeks and I thank them for their service! My health improves just at the thought of that rooftop bar, our hearty laughs (at not much) and our clickety clack along the footpath as we walk ‘Sex in the City’ style to the next bubbles bound venue.
3 Reasons we need friends for good health
Recent studies have shown that those with close social relationships can be surer of a longer life compared to those more isolated. Feeling part of a community or group can keep stress hormones at bay leading to a stronger immune system, less inflammation in the body and fewer illnesses.
Having good friends and knowing they are there for better or for worse can ward off depression, boost self-esteem and provide support whenever it’s needed. I don’t mean support as in ‘which shoe looks better ?’ .I mean support through thick and through thin without judgement or blame. I know the men in our lives are there for us too but their tendency is to want to FIX everything. Sometimes we just want to be heard. If that needs to happen at a rooftop bar, over a bottle of champagne, with our lipstick on, so be it. For the boys, friendship can happen around the BBQ, while one is fixing the gas bottle and one is fixing the broken esky and one is fixing the latest AFL lineup but for us girls it’s about talking and listening. REALLY listening. A friend’s problems might not change or disappear during these ‘sessions’ but at least she knows her friends are there for whatever might come next. This feeling of support and safety helps boost happiness (as does a pina colada but that’s a topic for another day).
Having a close knit group of friends can also stave off bad decisions or life choices (except maybe after midnight). They say birds of a feather flock together. If your friends are happy, so too will you be.
Recent studies have also proven that a feeling of importance and belonging can decrease chances of dementia and other illnesses involving cognitive decline. People with a substantial social network are less likely to let their mind deteriorate which in turn can lead to loneliness.
So there you have it. You NEED friends.
Even for just a few hours, in my own head space, with my own choices, with no interruptions, no judgement and no housework duties- I found ME again.
YOU SHOULD TOO!!
To those gorgeous girlfriends of mine who helped me vent, drink, dance and click clack, I THANK YOU. To those gorgeous girlfriends on call for future funky wine bars I THANK YOU. For your unconditional support, love and listening I raise my glass and salute you for letting me find ME! (as I sit here in my kangaroo fur ugg boots….).
Until we meet again x