A lot of people struggle to maintain their friendships when they start their careers or build a family. As we move further and further into adulthood, one of our most precious resources—time—becomes more and more valuable and scarce. And, unfortunately, a lot of us choose to spend our limited free time in sedentary activities like binge-watching TV shows.
These activities are fun in the moment (i.e. provide instant gratification), and take much less effort than arranging a physical hangout with friends. But, in the long run, solo activities provide you with very little “soul satisfaction.”
Among men, especially those in middle age, loneliness has been deemed a big threat to their mental and physical health. So, it’s important to find ways to get out of your regular routine and hang out with your friends. You must make the effort and make the time, for your own good!
And, because we need to make the most of our time, why not multitask hanging out with friends and get a little fitter in the process? Instead of going to the bar with your friends, why not arrange for a bit of physical activity, or more specifically, a sport?
Pick an Activity
Of course, this all starts with choosing an activity. A big restriction here will be the facilities available in your area. For example, there’s not much point in picking ice skating to bring friends together if you don’t have a rink nearby. The sport you choose must be viable given your local resources.
Of course, it doesn’t take much more than a piece of land and a ball to have a soccer game or toss a football around. That’s a simple way to get your friends engaged in some friendly competition.
Ultimately, of course, the activity you choose matters less than the fact that you got everyone together.
The other big hurdle is getting everyone to agree on an activity. Everyone will have their own ideas as to what’s the best choice for the group. If you’re the organizer, be sure to be a force for a clear decision, and limit the amount of time the selection process drags on. Otherwise, you might find the whole plan collapsing under the weight of indecision.
Get Organized and Get Moving
Talking about getting fit or being more active is one thing. But, actually doing it is another thing entirely. Getting your friends out there might take some work. The best way to approach this is by simply taking the initiative and organising the first session. Ask for everyone’s availability, an effort best accomplished in these hyper-busy times using an event-planning app of your choice (there are a lot of options to choose from).
Once a date is agreed upon, urge people to show up. In the end, you can’t force people to do things. But just give them a consistent choice and “lead from the front” by participating yourself. Hopefully, if they see you getting into a regular activity, they’ll have the “social proof” that the activity is worth their while.
I have no doubt that you and your friends will notice the benefits of regular, active gatherings after the first session. Trust me, you will very soon detect improvements in your own mental and physical states, and in your relationships with your friends. Sports are the perfect tool to forge bonds between friends, and are much more effective than connecting through drinking together.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to schedule more quality time with your friends!
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