Let’s admit it: We’re all busy. From senior year of high school to the first day of motherhood and everything in between, life is always busy. There are exams and study groups, interviews and work schedules, wedding plans and family holidays, and eventually school drop-off and kids’ sports. Our schedules must be managed to maintain a healthy balance. The one thing we need most—relationships—often falls to the wayside in the busyness of life.
As I write this, I’m getting ready to have several girlfriends over for brunch at my house. My husband is away at a men’s retreat and it’s just me and my two daughters. In my season, I’m busy with work and babies, so cultivating friendships takes time and effort. Leaving the house with my girls is a bit more hectic than meeting up for coffee as a single person! That’s why I invited my friends here. Friendship can be forged in busyness—we just have to be creative! Following are a few ideas you can use to grow your friendships even in the busiest of seasons.
Invite friends join you on errands.
Have to run to the grocery store for the week? Invite your friend to go with you! Chances are, she needs groceries, too. If you can coordinate schedules, make it a weekly or biweekly date. You’ll get to chat, brainstorm meal ideas and even hold one another accountable in healthy eating if that’s one of your goals.
Another take on this concept would be to have a friend join you for a tough task at home, e.g., painting a room. You’ll be able to catch up while knocking out a project, and most friends love to lend a helping hand!
Have a breakfast date.
Evenings tend to fill up fast in every season. Summer is full of parties, concerts and sporting events. Fall is stuffed with holidays and family gatherings. Winter might be slower, but once again holidays take up many evening nights. That’s why morning can be a great time to gather with friends! If you work or are in school, it might have to be super early (think 6 a.m.!) but that can be manageable every few weeks.
If leaving the house that early is tough, try taking turns going to one another’s apartments or homes.
Invite multiple friends over at once.
Have a lot of friends to keep up with and not enough time to meet every single one individually? Have them all over at once! We tend to overthink how our friends will “get along,” carefully curating who we invite to avoid awkwardness. But awkwardness is part of being an adult, and people work through it. If your friends don’t all know one another, this can be a great way to introduce them. Some of my own best friendships happened through introductions like these!
Use exercise as an excuse to get together.
Hate working out? Try doing it with a partner! Last summer I started walking three times a week with a friend of my sister’s who lived nearby. We didn’t know one another super well at first, but by the end of that summer she was one of my dearest friends! We walked almost 150 miles together that summer.
You can be creative with this. Want to try Zumba? Invite a friend to go with you! Planning to run every morning at 7 a.m.? Invite your roommate to go with you!
Last but not least, try my favorite app: Voxer. This app is simple and easy to use; it’s like a walkie-talkie meets voicemail. You can leave voice messages for your friends throughout the day and reply at your convenience. They don’t disappear or cut off like Apple iMessage voice texts are prone to do. If you don’t have time for a full-length phone call, you can get the same effect using an app like this one.
Our busy lives don’t get less so as time goes on. By intentionally reaching out to our friends in the midst of our crowded schedules, we reap the benefits of community as God designed it.