Keeping The Bonds Of Best Friends Strong – Even In The Most Trying Times
“When it hurts to look back and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.” ~Anonymous
Friendships play an essential role in staying emotionally and physically healthy. But how can you keep the bonds of best friends strong in these trying times? Pegasus home healthcare professionals in Calabasas and elsewhere offer these tips.
Individuals vary in how they define what makes a friend. Many classify friends as casual, good, close, or intimate. Despite differences, friendships, in general, are based on:
- Care and concern for each other
- Desire to spend time together
- Interests and activities in common
- Positive feelings for each other, such as admiration, love, respect
- Shared information about personal lives
Above all, true friends enjoy mutual trust. Each knows that the other won’t violate confidences or intentionally cause them harm. The criteria of friendship don’t change for most people despite changes in the world.
Best friends have a beneficial impact on your health. Those benefits include the following:
- Being yourself – trust in your best friend allows you to express your deepest feelings or reveal your vulnerabilities.
- Honesty – you can depend on your best friend to tell you “like it is” in a constructive way and without condemning you.
- Increased self-confidence – a best friend thinks you’re a terrific person and that you are valuable to them and others.
- Personal growth and development – being with a best friend encourages you to try new activities and opens your mind to new ideas.
- Stress reduction – best friends know how to make you smile as well as provide comfort and support when you need it.
A best friend is there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. But they won’t allow you to wallow in self-pity for very long.
Isolation Can Result in Harmful Loneliness
Many people have been confined to home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social activities with friends have ground to a halt for most. For some, that has resulted in isolation and loneliness.
Loneliness is feeling emotionally alone more than it is being physically alone. Loneliness has a variety of causes, one of which is physical isolation. Prolonged loneliness can negatively affect your health.
When you’re cut off from social interactions, you become more susceptible to:
- Heart disease
- Impaired immune system
- Poor sleep quality
- Reduced cognitive ability
- Substance abuse
Socializing with others, including your best friend, can potentially increase your longevity.
A Best Friend Is A Gift
Nurturing a friendship typically involves spending time with each other. You and your bestie probably did fun things together. Or maybe the two of you enjoyed heart-to-heart talks over coffee.
Both of you put effort into maintaining an enduring relationship. Communication remained important, and you quickly resolved any misunderstandings. You each made time to listen to the other with compassion and kindness.
You both looked for the best in the other, but accepted the other’s faults and shortcomings. You recognized that friendship is a gift, and you expressed your appreciation and gratitude. Even in the worst of times, you and your friend could make each other feel better.
Nurture Your Friendship Despite Social Distancing
The shelter-in-place rules don’t have to change your relationship with your friend. “Social distancing” just means that you and your best friend may not be able to spend physical time together.” It doesn’t stop you from creating other ways to nurture your friendship.
Don’t wait for your friend to contact you. Reach out to them, and any others that you care about. Taking the initiative tells friends you value them and are willing to make time for them.
If you are both comfortable with computers and social media, there are dozens of ways to stay in contact. Otherwise, pick up the phone and call. It’s communication itself that’s important, not the form it takes.
You and your friend might devise a completely new way to stay close. Or you might prefer a minimal change. The tried and true ways of sharing with your friend are still viable, just different.
Consider what you and your friend enjoyed most and invent another way of doing it. If you went to the movies, watch one at the same time on TV and discuss it on the phone.
Did the two of you travel? Subscribe to National Geographic or watch Nat Geo on TV, and mentally explore new places or cultures together. Use your imagination to find ways to communicate about what’s important to each of you.
Rejuvenate the art of letter writing. Sitting down and writing a letter is mutually beneficial. Writing is a creative act that improves how you feel.
Your friend feels cared about when you take the time to write. Letters are tangible and long-lasting. Not only do you have a connection, the letter can also be read and reread repeatedly.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home healthcare services in Calabasas and our other locations include companionship. We can’t replace spending time with your best friend, but we can keep you from being alone.