Thanks to our friends at Australian Unity, who are offering an ongoing 7% discount* (and 8.5% discount for Premium members*) on all Australian Unity health insurance covers. Plus, readers and members will both get four weeks free when you take out Hospital & Extras cover by 31 March.**
Friendships are often one of the first things to be put on the backburner when life gets frenzied. But did you know strong social ties are critical to our physical and emotional health? Research shows that friendships boost our immune system, increase longevity, and decrease our risk of contracting chronic illness.
In 2021, though, it’s becoming harder and harder to check in with our friends; to remember to reply to the lengthy email your old schoolfriend sent about her three kids and Muffy the cat; or go for a pinot with the girls because, well, you’ve been WFH in trackies all day and all you want to do is hug the couch and order a ramen.
So how do you maintain friendships in our increasingly distanced and busy world? We decided to ask some experts – and by experts, we mean the Business Chicks community, of course. We crowdsourced advice from our Premium members about the best ways to keep in touch when you’re time-poor:
“Group chats! It’s so time consuming to sit on the phone to every friend and family member, so a couple of group chats with different friendship groups is fun and keeps everyone in touch.” Cristina Engin
“It’s been tough to catch up face-to-face lately for various reasons, but one thing my friends and family are great at are group chats. I love the funny banter. Plus, with family overseas it’s an awesome way to send photos and quick updates at any time of day, without worrying about waking people up!” Catie Fearman
“I’ve started a monthly Zoom get-together with my school friends and I message my friends regularly and organise chats when we can. I err on the side of over-communicating just to make sure everyone’s OK and feels like someone cares.” Amanda Blennerhassett
“My bestie and I are ridiculous Snapchatters! I like it because I get fast visual updates (cute kids, etc). We’re also on Houseparty.” Kelly Stone
“Some of our favourite lockdown times were driveway drinks and dinner with our neighbours. All appropriately distanced, but it almost felt normal. As for friends farther afield, messaging apps work for me – and we lock in a face-to-face catch-up roughly each month with our fingers crossed restrictions don’t pop up to spoil it.” Jo Alilovic
“Forgiveness for not getting back to your BFFs immediately – or within three days! And we send each other lots of memes too.” Rebecca Bodman
“Lunches and cocktail catch-ups on Zoom are the best. There’s something quite delicious about chatting with a glass of wine while wearing PJs and slippers at your desk!” Janette Dalgliesh
Some other ways to maintain friendships when you’re snowed under:
- Shuffle your priorities. You have time to look at InstaStories for 10 minutes? Why not take 10 to message that friend who’s going through IVF?
- Value quality over quantity. Which friends mean the most to you? Ditch your superficial or toxic friendships and focus on the ones that really matter.
- Done is better than perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for forgetting to send your best friend flowers for her birthday, missing your colleague’s baby shower, or not replying to your old mate’s Tolstoy-length email. A heartfelt, handwritten note or text – or just reaching out in any way – is all a friendship needs to keep humming year after year.
Regardless of how busy you are, there’s one thing that’s easy – switching health insurance. Our friends at Australian Unity have a cracking offer for you:
Business Chicks readers are eligible for an ongoing 7% discount* (and Premium members an 8.5% discount*) on all Australian Unity health insurance covers. Plus, readers and members will both get four weeks free when you take out Hospital & Extras cover by 31 March.**
Australian Unity truly cares about its members – with features like no-gap dental, quick-and-easy claims thanks its mobile app, and a range of hospital and extras covers that you can mix-and-match to suit your lifestyle, it’s our go-to for trusty health insurance.