On day 39 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored spending time with friends as an act of self-care.
Spending time with friends makes the daily grind bearable. Our friends support us, challenge us, listen to us, and laugh with us through life’s interesting twists and turns.
While most of us tend to lose touch with our childhood friends over the years, I feel fortunate to have maintained contact with several of my high school friends. It’s been more than twenty years now, and while we may be spread out far and wide across the country, we share a love for adventure and being outdoors–a common thread that always seems to bring us together.
What makes these life-long friends even more special is that they are always bringing new people into the circle. Spouses, along with their friends and families add to the fun.
Friendships have an impact of our health in many ways. For example, one study found that people who have healthy social relationships have a 50% greater likelihood of survival compared to those who don’t. Likewise, other studies have shown that loneliness is associated with metabolic syndrome, sleep disturbances, and poor immune function.
Our social influences have the capacity to either harm or support our health, which is why it’s important to consider who we allow into our inner circle. But no matter how large your circle, it’s the quality of the relationships that seem to matter most.