3 Tips for Tending to Your Friendships - Elektra Health

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3 Tips for Tending to Your Friendships

“Friendship is a love story.” 
– Esther Perel, psychotherapist and author

There’s something uniquely sacred and magical about having a close female friend: someone who can ground us, make us laugh at our own mistakes, and love us, warts and all.

Spending time with your best friend may not feel as healthy as going on a run or eating a salad (especially if a wine bottle or two is involved). But did you know that there are proven hormonal health benefits to maintaining these friendships?

University of Michigan study showed that feeling emotionally close to a friend increases levels of the hormone progesterone, which helps boost our well-being and reduce anxiety. Researchers at UCLA found that women are far more likely than men to respond to stress by contacting their friends and forging social connections, which in turn raises their levels of oxytocin (AKA “the love hormone”).

If you’re ready to nurture your close friendships, for the sake of your happiness and health, here are 3 Elektra-approved tips:

1. Make it a ritual. 🗓

Maintaining friendships in adulthood can be difficult. Needless to say, this hasn’t exactly been helped much by the pandemic. But, news flash: there will never be a perfect time to catch up with a friend. By routinely scheduling recurring dates in your calendar, you ensure that you’re prioritizing the friends and women in your life who bring you the most joy.

2. Think outside the box. 🧑🏽‍🎨

Unlike our romantic relationships, we often don’t feel the need to spice things up or add elements of spontaneity in our friendships. But putting in effort into any relationship, including friendships, will pay off. Try surprising your friend with a food delivery from their favorite restaurant. Or decide on a friend anniversary and start planning a special trip. And if you’re drawing a blank, stand outside their window with a giant boombox and blast a song that reminds you of them (works every time).

 

3. Get vulnerable. 🩺

Only 20% of women discuss their menopause symptoms with friends? 20%! We’ve heard time and time again about the sense of relief and solidarity women feel after sharing their menopause experience with friends or a community they trust. Want to break the ice with a friend you know is dealing with menopause? Sending them one of these hilarious menopause cards will do the trick.

 

In conclusion: If you find yourself at the Thanksgiving table next week and someone calls on you to share what you’re thankful for, simply shout out your best friend’s name.

You can call her up later to laugh about it and get busy planning your next friendiversary in Hawaii, where you can sip on endless margaritas and lounge side-by-side on hammocks in the sun. Hey, it’s good for your health. 😉


WHAT ELSE WE’RE READING

A great overview of 6 things managers should know about menopause to best support their employees.

Perimenopausal anxiety is normal, but you don’t have grit your teeth and bare it alone: read these women’s lived experiences and how to get the support you need.

Acknowledging, accepting, and embracing an evolving post-menopausal sex life.

“I’ve done so many things in these six decades—I’ve survived some serious shit. In many of the ways that don’t involve the mortal coil, I’m stainless steel.” A cancer survivor reflects on turning 60.


HEALTHY OBSESSIONS*

Big Friendship – A Book on Long Distance Friendships

A heartening memoir from two best friends on their long-term friendship and choosing to support each other through the ups and downs.

Where Should We Begin – A Podcast from Esther Perel

Real-life couples therapy sessions with the incredibly brilliant therapist, Esther Perel. Check out her latest episode all about friendship.

* We’re not paid to feature these products. We just like them and think you may like them too.


KEEP CALM AND ELEKTRA ON

@violadavis