activities with Friends

Spending time away from work is important. It helps you to de-stress and unwind, as well as building your energy levels back up. It can be tempting, after a busy week at work, to spend the weekend entirely away from other people, especially if you work in a busy office or customer-facing roll. But neglecting your friends and your social life can have serious negative effects – and we’re not just talking about a few missed invitations to birthday parties.

Socializing regularly can:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Decrease depressive feelings and boost your mood and self-esteem
  • Help you to live longer
  • Reduce your risk of developing dementia and keep your memory and cognitive skills sharp.

On top of all this, spending time with friends is fun and stimulating. It doesn’t have to be a high-energy, loud affair; a quiet coffee with your bestie on a bench in the park will have you feeling happy and refreshed in no time. 

Read on for some fresh ideas of things to do with friends that will keep you happy, healthy, and ready to face the world.

Activities to Get You Out and About

Group Of People
  • Meet a group of friends for a walk or a run. There are so many benefits to gentle physical exercise and you’ll walk further and longer if you’re enjoying socialising with friends at the same time. It could be through the city centre or round a country park. Why not set a rewarding destination such as a favourite café where you can sit and relax afterwards?
  • Visit local museums. Most have free entry and you can learn something new about your town and its history. Alternatively, look up local walking tours – some have maps you can print out or read on your smartphone that will take you around local points of interest.
  • Join a local sports team. Many community teams are open to players of all ages and abilities and are always looking for players. Try a local Back to Netball session for a hit of high school nostalgia and enjoy getting fit with your friends.
  • Volunteer in your community. Have you got elderly neighbours who need a little help in the garden, walking the dog, or who would just love someone to chat to over a cup of tea and a custard cream? Or join an organised litter pick, church fundraiser, or youth club and lend a hand. You’re sure to make new friends along the way.

Indoor Fun

Women Holding Wine Glasses
  • Sign up for a class together. Perhaps you’ve always fancied learning to paint, mix cocktails, or throw pots? Learning new skills keeps your mind active and gives you something to show off at parties. Why not take cookery classes with a group of friends and then host your own version of Come Dine With Me or Great British Bake Off at the end?
  • Grab some homemade craft kits and have a crafting session. You can get ready-made kits for pebble painting, crochet, mosaics, painting by numbers…if you can imagine it, a kit probably exists somewhere! It’s a great way to scratch that creative itch while having a laugh with friends – especially as someone will inevitably mess up in a hilarious fashion.
  • Someone moved house or just fancying a bit of a change of décor? Get the gang round for a painting party. Make sure you’ve got enough rollers for everyone and your room will have a new lease of life in no time.
  • Crack out the boardgames and take it in turns to host epic games nights. From the more traditional Monopoly and Scrabble, to modern eurogames like Settlers of Catan and Agricola, you’ll be able to find something to suit all tastes. Nothing says fun with friends like taking all their money and celebrating your victory with a lap round the table!
  • Have a movie night. Going to the cinema can end up being really expensive for large groups, but thanks to digital streaming services we now have access to thousands of movies right in our own homes. Bring the popcorn, sodas, and hotdogs and settle in front of the TV for a single film or an all-night marathon – the choice is yours. For that extra big-screen feel, you could invest in a projector and screen the movies onto a bare wall or garage door.

Online Fun for Long-Distance Friends

Woman Using Laptop Doing A Video Call
  • Online video calling has become a really important tool for keeping in touch with friends we can’t see in person. Schedule a regular online meeting with friends all over the world and it will feel like they’re in the room with you. You could even have themed calls, from fancy dress to making sure everyone has their favourite pizza with them.
  • Play games online. Modern video games often have online multiplayer functions and you can invite your friends to join you in the game. But if not everyone has access to a console or own the same game, this can be a problem. However, there are plenty of online games and sites which accommodate multiplayer games, for example you can play poker with friends and they only need a computer or a smartphone.

In Summary

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut at weekends; catching up on cleaning, box-setting the tv you’ve missed during the week, and sleeping longer hours to try and recover from the working week. But don’t forget that socialising and spending time actively relaxing will make you feel better and more refreshed than spending two days hiding away from the world.

Make the effort to go out, see people, and get some gentle exercise. Get your creative juices flowing, flex your competitive streak, or just have a laugh over a glass of wine and a comedy film. There are plenty of ways to spend time with friends this weekend, why not try something new?

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