Maintaining friendships as an adult takes effort. When you’e in school not only are you around people all the same age, you see them every single day. When you live in different neighborhoods, work different schedules, and have work and family commitments, getting together means scheduling something and writing it in your calendar.
A struggle I hear from clients is that they want to eat out and drink less, but having quality social time with friends often ends up with drinks, dinner, or both. I understand, you don’t want to alienate friends, but also want to make healthy choices. These are classic conflicting goals!
Here are 10 ideas to suggest the next time you’re scheduling time with your BFF:
Going to a matinee – especially on a crappy weather day – is a great way to get together because the time is already set, plus it’s cheaper! You can skip the popcorn and sneak in your own healthy snacks if you fear getting hangry (I know I do), and get out on the cheap. If there’s nothing you’re wishing to see, have a home movie date. No, not your home movies, but pick an old favorite and have a showing at your (or their) house.
Working out with friends is more fun and keeps you accountable. What better way to keep your fitness goals on track AND catch up with a pal than working out together? Try a new studio class you haven’t tried before, or take them to a favorite of yours. It’s fun to both do a class you’ve never tried like cardio kickboxing or PiYo. Many studios will run new student specials or let you take your first class free so check with the ones in your area.
This is my go-to. There are a million cute little coffee shops across the city, making it easy to find a convenient spot to meet up. Coffee (or tea) is cheap and you can sit and catch up for a long time without feeling the need to move on once you’ve had your fill.
Whenever my cousin visits, we meet up and go for a long walk to catch-up. Usually there’s a coffee pitstop in there, but walking is the main show. Go to a park, a running path, or just walk around the neighborhood. There’s something about walking that makes the words and thoughts flow easier and the time flies by. Plus, exercise.
Be a tourist in your own city and go to a museum you haven’t been to since an elementary school field trip. It’s an inexpensive and active way to spend a few hours with a friend and learn something other than their dating status.
Yes, there’s food involved, but eating is not the focus. You’ll learn skills, get comfortable with ingredients and techniques you haven’t used before, all alongside a familiar face!
Game night isn’t just for couples! Get a group of friends, or keep it small with just one, and play a few games while you talk. With compact games like cards or Pass the Pigs (a renewed favorite in my house!) you can take them with you and play at a coffee shop or park. Even a puzzle gives you something to do that isn’t drinking.
I’ve done watercolor, crochet, painting, and ornament making classes with friends and it’s always a blast! Getting creative is a great outlet and calms your stress instantly. You’ll leave with a new skill and project and they tend to be very laid back so you end up chatting and making friends with others in the class as well. For local classes, check out Dabble.co!
You can quickly lose yourself browsing through thrift stores, and if you don’t find something you love, you’ll at least come away with pictures of the most ridiculous outfits! There are boutique thrift and vintage shops popping up all over, so consider going on a thrift store crawl!
I have one of these on my calendar now! Again, plan for either one friend or invite a crew, independently bring anything you want to work on or are already working on, put some music on and get crafty! If you aren’t working on any projects or feel you have no creative skills, head to a craft store like Michael’s and pick something simple or get a coloring book and pack of colored pencils.
Want small creative project ideas? Grab a copy of my ebook Positivity Through Creativity and get 52 quick and simple projects!