A few days ago, I woke up with a stifling headache. I never get headaches. For quiet some time I walked around with this throbbing pain in my head until I was able to unload onto one of my girlfriends something that had been upsetting me for days. After I was able to vent, I realized that this headache had manifested in my body due to the stress of the situation I’d been obsessing about. If I hadn’t been able to feel heard and process what I’d been holding onto all week, the tension in my head most likely would have continued to exasperate.
Life is so hectic and busy that sometimes we’re unaware of how afflicted we are by the stresses of our lives. We are so programmed to ‘keep it together’ and pretend that we don’t experience things to the depth we do at times. It’s only when we have a platform to express our feelings that we understand what is going on within. No one in the world will listen to you and help you through the trenches of life’s murky waters like your girlfriends.
Girlfriends are the bread and butter of our sanity. Whether you women realize it or not women need other women. We all need to unleash and feel heard. A true girlfriend will listen to you, be your cheerleader when you need one, tell you to get your sh*t together when you’re out of control, and let you know when you can’t pull off the outfit you’re wearing anymore.
No one understands the mama drama we go through, frustrations with the opposite sex, or trails and tribulations like ‘the girls.’ So if having women in our lives is important why does it often seem so difficult to get together with our friends in a meaningful way? How do we get quality ‘girl time when life is so busy?
Men are usually fine processing their inner world in their cave. Or, maybe they don’t even process. Women, however, need to find outlets to stop the endless chatter in our brains and our girlfriends provide for that outlet in ways that our husband, boyfriends or partners cannot. Most men do not have the mental space to be our sounding boards. They may be listening to our “noise,” but instead of actually hearing us they hear Charlie Brown’s mom—wha wha wha wha wha wha in the background. Yep, that’s exactly what we sound like to them. Am I right ladies? When we talk, our men either ignore us because they can’t deal or they go into Mr. Fix It mode, wanting to solve our problems instead of just listening. They don’t realize what we really need is simply an ear and a little compassion.
Here’s the deal. If we want to have meaningful relationships with our girlfriends we need to make it a priority. We need to schedule it. And then – not flake. I know. It sounds so basic, but it’s not for most people. It’s easy to find a thousand reasons not to make the effort or to allow other things to take precedence. By “scheduling girl time” I don’t mean connecting on your morning jog when you’re racing to catch up with each other or attending a yoga class together.
I mean make time.
Here are five virtually effortless ways to make your relationship with the women you love in your life a priority
· Girls Nights Out – the perfect way to catch up with those closest to you. Create a special time to get dressed up, feeling beautiful and go out for a night on the town with just the girls is so fun! You need it!
· Meet for lunch or tea – another fantastic way to get girl time. One hour of tea time can often be the remedy you need to catch up.
· Ever heard of Chick Swap? It’s where you take all the clothes you don’t want or wear anymore, gather all your female companions, unload and trade your threads. The clothes may not want in your closet anymore could be exactly what your BFF has been looking for and vice versa!
· Make plans with your girlfriend to attend a book reading or seminar on something uber-inspiring and then discuss afterward at your favorite sushi or raw food restaurant. This is a great evening to share your inspirations.
· Throw a theme party – Nothing brings the girls together like costumes and party favors. Dancing, laughing, having a ball. Sign me up!
Bottom line—-Girlfriends are the air we breathe. They make our lives a thousand times better and anything that makes our lives better is worth investing in and creating time for. As a life practice I am devoted to doing what makes me feel good. Girlfriends are just as important as anything else in life. Sitting for tea or lunch might be too much for most people with jammed packed lives, but where there is a will there is a way. Don’t cheat yourself on girlfriend time. Honor how good it makes you feel to cultivate those relationships and make it a priority. You need it and so does your girlfriend. Give her a call.