What’s More Important Than Friend Time?

The thing about spending time with friends (new and old) is that it often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. We put off adult play dates because of work obligations, because we’re under the weather, because we haven’t been to the gym in a week, because our kids need us, because we have a date with our husbands, because the cat needs to go to the vet, because we have a million errands to run, because we have to read for book club, or because we’re tired and just want a quiet night at home. I try really hard not to cancel plans or put off hanging out with friends, but when I do it’s usually because I’m feeling sick. Having been sick for about a week a couple of weeks ago, I had to send more “can we reschedule?” emails than usual.

I do find that I put off scheduling friend time when I’m feeling overwhelmed–with work, or just general life overwhelmedness. It’s a feeling that can come up plenty during holiday time, in fact. That sense that you just have so much going on, and you need to soak up any down time you have. Deep down I know this is a bad reason–being with friends relaxes you! It’s scientifically proven!–but still, the siren song of the couch is even louder when stress levels are high.

So, that’s it for me. Stress and sickness are the culprits that get in the way of my friend time. What about you? What is it that keeps you from scheduling more time with pals? Kids? Working out? Exhaustion? And what steps can you take to make friends a bigger priority?

16 Comments

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16 responses to “What’s More Important Than Friend Time?

  1. Katie H.

    Mine would definitely be when I’m feeling stressed or exhausted. Although, usually, when I “make” myself do it anyway, I end up feeling a lot better.

  2. Elle

    You definitely nailed it – I tend to feel my ‘me’ time is more important, and I indulge every time. The funny thing is, my friends name is Mimi…haha

  3. I’ve noticed that when I am stressed I stay to myself more but I also realized that my friends make me happier. So now we all try to make more time for each other and when we notice one of us becoming anti social we plan a get together at their place.

  4. ceruleanstarshine

    Fear of negativity keeps me from being around mine often. They are fun, and relaxing, but when they start with the man-and-kid bashing (most of them don’t have kids yet) it just gets exhausting and wears me down. Last year I tried to institute a monthly meeting of positivity where we’d meet up and be positive and supportive of each other but funnily enough, that never panned out.
    Maybe I need to meet new people?

  5. It’s usually just if I’m sick or if I’ve had trouble sleeping for a few days and I’m super tired.

  6. KGN

    I have a monthly “dance” date with my friends at a DJ club. No matter how sick/exhausted/spouse away, etc – we make it happen. Sometimes it’s only one friend, some times it is more- but luckilly, we keep this commitment to us- and it’s going on 4 years. The key is always having it in the calender! (It’s also a good way to invite “new” friends to an outing- because we are already going, so if you want to join – come out and have fun!

  7. gaiabathtime

    I I had a week with old girl friends and actually noticed stress levels dropping completely and an unbelievable sense of well being. Since I try conciously to make best friend time as it does indeed pick you like nothing else!

  8. Kristen A.

    I wouldn’t say that being with friends always relaxes me. It depends on why I’m stressed out in the first place. If I’ve been busy with things that I’m taking care of alone, sure. But if the problem is that I’ve been surrounded by loud and demanding people all week, then it doesn’t matter how not-demanding they are, the sound of them drumming their fingers on the table while we play that board game is going to make me want to scream. When I get like that I really can’t relax with anybody around except possibly my fiance, if he’ll just sit quietly and watch a movie with me or something.

  9. It’s hard for me to be around friends when I’m already tired or exhausted. Being a major introvert, it’s a lot of work for me to entertain my gal pals, as much as I love being around them. I always feel really bad if I’m too sleepy to be funny or too distracted to be a good listener.

    • Nathan m

      Exactly how I feel. I love friends but personal recharge time is just so important. I need a certain level of macho before im ready to engage with others Stress from work or school really does sap that macho. But sometimes I really have to tell myself to give it another push. Remind myself not to scowl in public.

  10. I guess overall I try not to stress about this sort of thing. As you mentioned, our lives tend to be overly packed with things to do and tasks to prioritize, so generally I feel pretty good when I get to see friends or family 2 or even 3 times in a month. We talk on the phone more often than that but I guess my philosophy is, when it happens that we do see each other it’s always fun and enriching, so why worry about it? When the time is spread out a bit between our meetings we always have so many interesting updates to give each other. It makes me feel like we’re all crusading together.

  11. Almost two years ago I was working two jobs. I also have Lupus so I would be so exhausted that I couldn’t spend time with friends. Any moment I had, I would be sleeping or trying to just “rest.” Since then I have been accepted by Social Security and still find it difficult to spend time with friends. If I do have plans, I often have to cancel due to my illness acting up. I have lost a lot of friends from this which is understandable. Yet, it still breaks my heart that they could act this way. Needless to say, I found out who my true friends are.

  12. Karen A

    I find that putting a regular date on the calendar and never changing it works best for my little group. We have a second Sunday brunch at a centrally located diner on the calendar. Some times we have just two people and sometimes we have eight, but we never cancel. I may not make every month, but since the time is usually limited to two hours and I will get to see several people, I make it a priority on my schedule. It took a few months, but now most of the group are “regulars”.

  13. amommys2cents

    Having a child and a shortage on babysitting keeps me from time with friends. Of course so does their busy schedules and distance.

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