As we get older, life just seems to get busy. It never feels like we have the ‘free’ time we had when we didn’t have responsibilities, to work, to partners, to kids. And when we’re so crazy busy, it’s our girlfriends who fall to the bottom of the list. We don’t even seem to have the time to pick up the phone to say hi, and yet these are the people who understand and whose friendships are unfailing – they lead a similar life juggling work and family, community and home. Finding quality friends time doesn’t just happen. We have to make it happen.
However quality time with friends is important, not to mention has been proven to have tremendous health benefits! So in the spirit of all we believe in, we encourage you to make time for a day, or a weekend, where responsibilities are less relevant than friendship. Have some group fun and reconnect with your girlfriends. Here we share five ideas on ways to spend quality time with friends.
1. Schedule a Regular TV Date.
We all have those TV series which we become addicted to, not being able to wait till the next episode to get our fix. Luckily enough thanks to modern technology like Apple TV, Lightbox and Netflix, we don’t have to. It also means that we can schedule a TV catch up when it suits us and our girlfriends. So whether you can’t get enough of the Good Wife, you’re a slave to Game of Thrones or the Gilmour Girls Reunion is a trip down memory lane, go ahead and make it a regular TV date. Invite some girlfriends around, do up a nibbles platter, open some wine, sit back and catch up with your favourite shows and each other. But a quick tip, be sure to avoid spoilers so that you can watch that one-hour episode together.
2. Get Physical
Keeping fit and active can be tough when life gets in the way, but it is so important, as health professionals constantly remind us, to put aside some time during our day for some kind of physical activity. And we all know that exercising with a friend can boost motivation and make us ‘show-up’ no matter what. Going for a walk, doing a Pilates class, playing a team sport that you love, netball or hockey. These are all great ways to ensure that you have regular catch ups. Kicking things up a notch, why not commit to doing a team event together. There are so many great ones to choose from in New Zealand. You could check out the Spirited Women Event in Taupo, or the Torpedo 7 Spring Challenge, or anyone of the fun walks and runs across New Zealand. You’ll have lots of fun catching up for some joint training sessions, plus doing the event together.
3. Create a Restaurant Club.
No matter where you live in New Zealand, there are so many great eateries and food spots to choose from. Setting up a restaurant club is a fun and tasty way to schedule time with friends and get to enjoy a range of cuisine. The key is to choose a regular date, say the last Thursday of every second month, everyone marks it in the diary at the beginning of the year and then you each choose a restaurant for your host night. For inspiration, you could check out Metro Eats or the Cuisine Good Food Guide.
4. Plan a Girls Getaway
We all need something to look forward to. Holidays are so often scheduled around school or getting away with family, that it feels indulgent to head away without them, but that is a great idea! It doesn’t have to cost the earth either. If you love wine, why not schedule an annual trip to one of New Zealand’s wine regions. Book a self-catering option on Book a Bach to keep costs down and allow for some chill out with wines in the evening.
5. Get your Wine On!
As a wine lover, and we’re sure your friends are too, what better way to spend time together than discovering and tasting wines. Lucky for us kiwis, the New Zealand wine event calendar is packed with so many great festivals and events throughout the year. Make it an annual date, whether it be the Marlborough Wine Festival, or rotate amongst a few. Why not get the girls together and head along to The Food Show, in Auckland or Christchurch. It’s a chance to taste artisan foods, great wines ( we’ll be there) and attend some masterclasses at the Whirpool Cooking Theatre.
Whatever we decide to do, the most important thing is that we make quality friends time a priority. It’s a commitment. It’s a chance to reconnect and invest in one of the most important relationships in our lives- Friendship!
We’d love to hear how you spend quality time with friends. Share in the comments below.