Quality time with people we enjoy is so important for us in our recovery. Withdrawing socially and isolating ourselves comes almost second nature to us, but it is not to our benefit. What is beneficial is healthy alone time, time spent taking care of ourselves and giving us a rest from the constant movement of the world around us. In addition to that time spent with ourselves, we need a balance of quality time and connection with friends. Sarah Gane, author of “Time for you (and a few friends)” for Wellness Journal magazine, reports that “A study done by UCLA found those who have a good support network and spend time with same-sex friends experienced an increase in the release of oxytocin, a stress-relieving hormone that can increase life expectancy, as well help us to relax.”
Connect Through Shared Experiences and Conversation
While establishing connections can be difficult, finding a unified and supportive network of friends can give you the confidence and strength to deal with anything. Friends can outside perspective, kindness, laughter, and advice when we’re dealing with hardships. For women, women-only spaces help to “nourish our being,” says Gane. “Each time we do so, our cup is refilled. Then when we go back to our partners, our families, our jobs and our lives, we are full and soul-satisfied rather than starved. We have more to give those we love.” The same can be true for male-only spaces. For men, spending quality time with male friends opens up space for honest self-expression. “These gatherings of like-minded souls can take many forms,” Gane says. From book clubs to dinners out, to retreats, there are so many ways to bond with others and be empowered by quality time.
Breaking Your Routine
If you have a lot on your plate, it’s important to break the routine and get out with friends or create a space where you have quality time with yourself. During this time, it’s important to disconnect from those who you are not physically with. This includes putting your phone away and focusing on the support you have in front of you. “Treat your time together as an opportunity to properly connect, whether it’s over a cup of coffee or a walk,” Gane says. These small moments of connection can have a big impact on our recoveries.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare has programs for your recovery. Call our trained and experienced staff today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to help foster connection in your recovery. Call now!