All you female nurses: You take care of your patients, their families, your coworkers and your own families. You make sure everyone is healthy, comfortable and well taken care of. And you do it day in and day out. The importance of your job adds stress and pressure. But who…or what…takes care of you? What’s the “magic pill” to make YOU feel okay?
It’s your friends.
Did you know that female friendship makes women healthier, happier, less stressed, feel more beautiful and live longer? It’s true! Spending time with our girlfriends can be the “magic pill” of self-care. It allows us the freedom to be ourselves, plus the opportunity to bond with the women in our life who love us no matter what.
Consider these findings on female friendship:
- When men are stressed, they respond with “fight or flight.” We know women are different, and our response to stress is “tend and befriend”—we want to take care of our young and be around our friends (from the book The Tending Instinct by Shelley E. Taylor). This bond of female friendship reduces stress and, as a result, we live longer if we have a strong social network. Spending time with your girlfriends is actually medicinal!
- Dove (the health and beauty products company) recently did a study showing that our friends also make us feel more beautiful, so they’re essential to our self-esteem. We all know this already, don’t we? We feel our stress drop in the company of other wonderful women, enjoying each other’s friendship. Getting a group of women together in a fun environment for laughter, sharing and caring will remove worries (and perhaps even worry lines!). Spend time with women you feel totally comfortable with and you’ll forget the cares and responsibilities of the day.
Since you’re busy, here’s a quick list of ideas for getting together with your friends:
- Join a book club (try searching for a local book club at readerscircle.org/search.html) or start your own.
- Join or form a knitting group or scrapbook club.
- Plan a dinner club where you eat together in homes or restaurants.
- Block out time, even just once a week, for hanging out with friends at a coffee shop or at home.
- Take a walk with your girlfriend(s).
If you make an effort to spend time with your girlfriends, you’ll be taking care of yourself. It’s now a scientific fact that friendship will make you happier, healthier and less stressed when you go back to taking care of everyone else. And the best outcome? You’ll have wonderful memories and beautiful friendships that will keep you laughing and loving life for years to come.