Things you can do with friends
Spending time and doing things with friends is a great way to feel connected and prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness.
What is it?
We know that spending time with friends can boost your mood and help you to feel connected, below is a list of things that you can do together to give you some inspiration:
- Phone calls/ video calls
- Have regular film nights or if you don’t live near one another- watch the same film at the same time!
- Start a book club
- Host a games night or play games together online
- Do an exercise class together either virtually or in person
- Play some sport
- Get outside and go for a walk
- Volunteer somewhere or attend a course
- Go to the cinema
- Make dinner together or each bring a different dish/ bake something
- Go for a bike ride
- Create a spa experience at home
- Go shopping
- Try a new cafe/ restaurant
- Make something creative
- Build a playlist with songs that remind you of your memories together
- Have a picnic in the park/ at the beach
- Teach yourselves a new skill
- Look up some free gigs
How does it help?
Sometimes when we feel low in mood or anxious we can fall into the trap of avoiding going out, we might then stop seeing our friends as much as we used to and stop doing the things that we used to enjoy.
There has been a lot of research to suggest that an effective way to manage this is by breaking this negative cycle by encouraging yourself and scheduling in activities that you find meaningful. Make sure that you schedule a balance of activities that may make you feel a sense of achievement, that are enjoyable and are important to you. It is also even more beneficial to do these activities with your friends and the people you get along with for the following reasons:
- Healthy friendships can improve our mood significantly as we may feel less isolated and lonely. Friendships can give you a sense of belonging and connectedness.
- Friends can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- Friends may be able to help support us through stressful situations within our lives- it may be that we just need a distraction for a time so doing one of the activities listed above could help.
- Friends can also listen to us and help us to problem solve when we cannot find a solution by ourselves.
- Friends can help encourage healthy behaviours and support you in making positive choices. This could increase your motivation to do certain activities too.
- There is also research to suggest that staying socially connected with others can actually improve our physical health.