Let’s face it our lives are FULL! The demands on our time are GREAT! Often it is our natural tendency to put ourselves last.
Our need for “me-time”, nutrition, exercise, and devotional time seems to always be at the bottom of the list. Sometimes we feel guilty taking time for ourselves. It is just easier to not take the time.
Yet taking time for ourselves and our friends is important.
Why are friendships important?
We are designed to be in relationship. First, with Christ, and second, with others. Women in particular are relational beings and thrive when connected to others in meaningful relationships.
Establishing and maintaining healthy friendships provides the opportunity for us to recharge and connect with others. Having a friend that relates to our stage in life, and that we can share and laugh with, is essential to our mental well-being.
Since life can be stressful, it is vital to maintain friendships (especially after having children). Not doing so can lead to burn out, frustration, isolation or depression.
Evidence suggests these health benefits of friendship: It increases your sense of belonging and purpose, boosts happiness, reduces stress, improves self worth, decreases risk of serious mental illness, helps you weather traumas and it encourages change of unhealthy habits.
Who should my friends be?
Not all our friends have to be just like us. Friends might be single, married, with kids or without: it does not matter. A friend is someone that you share a special bond with. The critical element is connection. Connection that is genuine, caring and supportive.
Developing friendships can be scary! You may have experienced hurt at the hand of a friend. The key is to not let that experience hold you back from other real friendships. The benefits outweigh the risks. Forgiveness and learning from the past hurts helps you grow as a person.
At one time or another every woman has feared rejection, felt alone or assumed that the other woman has it all together.
Many times I have heard women say “I don’t have any friends” or “no one invites me anywhere”. I too have thought this and have felt “left out”. After honest conversations with other women I have come to realize that we all feel insecure at times.
Once I recognized that all women just want to be loved and accepted as much as I do, I felt freedom. Freedom to be myself, to step out of my comfort zone a little and try to make friends.
I encourage you to take an inventory of your friendships.
When was the last time you spent quality time with a friend?
© 2012 Standing on Peace