Let’s make the new year the year of sisterhood.
Over the last six years, I have realized the incredible importance of cultivating close relationships with fellow women. What started in college as a group of ten or so gal pals slowly diminished to two over a period of years. Not an unusual phenomenon for many of us — life’s ups and downs sometimes push friendships to break upon impact, or apathetically drift away. Just as romantic relationships don’t work out based on personalities, timing, so can friendships follow the same path. But as sad as some break-ups may be, they are a part of the larger picture: personal growth. But this post isn’t about unfortunate friendship failures, it’s about realizing the importance of investing in and supporting the girlfriends that you do have… just as they support and love you.
Girlfriends are your chosen family. We cannot choose the family we were born into, or trade in our parents when we’ve had enough. But we can decide the type of friendships we allow into our lives. When we truly and authentically invest in our friendships, we create a bond with one another that best mirrors the closeness of family. Our girlfriends can and should be our rocks: they know everything about us and love us despite our shortcomings and quirks. They know what makes us tick, what is at our deepest core level and will consistently meet us there. They love us like no other — family, romantic, or otherwise. They are our soul’s chosen family.
Girlfriends are like therapists. I think it’s a fair assumption that we have all vented to a girlfriend once or twice before. Like sitting on a couch across the room from a therapist, our girlfriends are a constant ear for our troubles… our cheerleaders, our advice column, our shoulders to lean on, and our box of tissues. They listen intently — patiently — and without judgement. They are, without fail, our safe space.
Spending time with your girlfriends can decrease depression. In an article written by Erica Diamond of the blog “Women on the Fence,” scientific research states that spending quality time with your girlfriends can increase serotonin levels. “In an evening class at Stanford,” she writes, “the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.”
So in the name of well-being, love and sisterhood, can we all agree that 2017 will be the year of cultivating our friendships? We need to be thankful for each other. More than ever. True friendship — finding your soul’s sister — is a tremendous rarity and one that should be cherished.
+ Do you spend enough quality time with your girlfriends? How can you better invest in your friendships today?
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