Tell your boss that it's important you make this trip with your girl gang since you'll come back fresh and it's only going to help you perform better at work.
When work gets too much to handle, or when you feel like your relationship could do with some time apart, what you really feel like doing is simply packing your bags and leaving on a trip with a bunch of your girlfriends. It's easier said than done because everyone needs to have prior notification. Some can't make it because of their commitments, but it's time to tell your boss and your friends that a mini trip once a while is actually quite important, for you and for your mental health! According to Southern Living, it has been proven that friendships can extend one's life expectancy, lower chances of heart diseases, and it even helps us tolerate pain a lot better.
Psychologists are actually able to predict the size of someone's friend circle based on how much pain they could tolerate. Having a good set of friends also helps us feel good about ourselves. Researchers found evidence in 2016 that hanging out with your friends actually increases the production of oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone our body releases when we're happy. An abundance of oxytocin in our bodies can make people friendlier, more generous and trusting.
It was also noted that people who did not have a large group of friends tend to be more depressed, causes cognitive decline, and were even likely to die at a younger age. Another study looked at 309,000 people and found a lack of strong social relations actually increased the risk of premature death by about 50 percent, which is the equivalent of what happens to you when you smoke around 15 cigarettes a day. Risks of dementia also increased depending on how lonely someone felt.
Even though having friends is very important, as we grow older, it gets harder to maintain those friendships. We move on with our lives, we move from city to city, we meet new people, we get jobs, and sometimes, checking up on them occasionally and sending a message through social media is not enough. While there are studies to prove distance doesn't dampen a friendship, it gets quite hard to maintain a long-distance friendship.
Psychologist William Chopik from Michigan State University, through a series of studies, found in older adults, friendships play a more important role in health and happiness, as compared to relationships with family. "Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So, it's smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest," he said. Since friends play a more important role in our health and happiness, it's completely worth taking time out to plan a trip with your friends. Which is where the girls' trip comes in handy!
So, if you're at a new place and at a complete loss to make new friends, then the best way to do it is by talking, according to The New York Times. You don't need to have a history with someone when you start talking. Worried about what to talk about? Talk about the office space, about how work is done here, about what makes you feel alive, and even your interests. You may find some common ground with them and that's your chance to build that relationship. Only when you talk do you get to know if you share interests with the other person.
Now that you've done the talking, try sharing a very tiny secret with them. It can be anything, like how you're really looking for your perfect partner or that you're still upset about Derek Shephard being killed in Grey's Anatomy. This way, you create an inside joke. Even if you had nothing in common with them before, you now have the inside joke to your rescue. This is how stories are built. And good stories to the background of memories are the foundation of good friendships.
All you've got to do now is to make plans and hang out with them. Basically, having friends make your life a lot easier. Feeling low? Turn to your friends. Feeling extremely happy and want to share the good news with someone? Tell your friends! If you're an introvert, there might be merit in meeting your friends one at at time. You don't have to meet them all together or try to validate your extrovert friends' opinions on how friendships are maintained. At the end of the day, it's about spending time with the people you love and you get to decide how you want to do it.