This week I read an article titled How to Maintain Friendships. It’s premise was the fact that as we get older it becomes harder to keep our friendships going as we get busier with work, children and other commitments. It mentioned 25 as being the age where we have the most social connections, but thereafter things decline. There are many documented benefits to being socially active and supported, including better health and longevity, so how do we reverse this trend and keep our friendships on track – especially when we don’t have much time?…
I’m as guilty as anyone of letting the daily routine of work and weekends of chores and kids’ activities get in the way of catching up with a friend. But there are some quick and easy ways you can reach out to show some love – all from your phone.
Send a postcard – While I’ve embraced digital cards, I really do believe that a paper card provides so much more pleasure. But sometimes getting to the store, sitting down and writing, then going out to the mail box can seem daunting. Postcardly is a service whereby you send an email with your chosen photo and message. They’ll then print it and send it as a nice glossy postcard. So easy.
Mail a mini gift box – Greetabl is a site that allows you to send small gifts packaged in beautiful little boxes, customized with a selection of fabulous designs and your own photos. (This is my choice for Galentine’s Day. – More later…)
E-mail a coffee – Of course everyone loves a coffee (or tea!) so sending a digital gift card for their favorite coffee shop will always be appreciated. It’ll perk up someone’s day.
Create a photo ebook – With Blurb you can turn your photos into gorgeous, professional looking books. But did you know that you can make ebooks with them too? Being able to create something personal for a friend without waiting for the printing is magical.
Print that photo – When most of our precious photos remain forever in the digital world, making the effort to print a photo and bring it into the ‘real’ world will serve as a tangible reminder of your bond. Social Print has such cute options to give.
And don’t forget the obvious too…
Share an article – Everyone has their own favorite blogs and newsfeeds that they subscribe too. While we can easily become overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of reading material, having someone handpick a piece that really speaks to our interests is invaluable. Forwarding something pertinent is a nice way to show someone you’re thinking of them, and takes very little time.
Share a quote – Through my daughter’s school I learned about Project Happiness. Each day I receive a quote of the day related to happiness. These phrases are perfect for sharing. And of course Pinterest is full of quotes, complete with pretty backgrounds that making sharing so easy.
Remember an important event – Nearly all of us text regularly, but how much thought do we put into those characters? Try making your next text more meaningful. Does a friend have an important event coming up? (A job interview, a work presentation, a child’s first flight?) And don’t just send them a note, include a photo too. It just makes it so much more special.
Make an introduction – If you hear of a job opening that sounds perfect for a friend, make that introduction. By connecting people you can build your own friendships too. Friendships thrive on generosity.
Friendships of course require two way interactions – conversations – so these ideas are not substitutes for in-person connections. But these actions will help stoke the fire and keep friendships alive in the in-between periods.
How do you let friends know you’re thinking of them?