6 Ways to Keep A Friendship Healthy When You're Always Busy

Sometimes you need to put in some extra hours to get that project done. Others, you just need better cash flow, so you are taking whatever overtime you can get. The problem is, money isn't everything; study after study shows that our social connections are what keep us happy, healthy and well-adjusted. How do you keep a friendship fresh and lively when you have no time? Try incorporating these six strategies:

1. Talk and text when you have time.

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Too exhausted to get on the phone with each other at the end of a long day at work? Squeeze in a chat during lunch instead. You're more likely to be energetic enough for a conversation in the middle of the day than at the end of it.

2. Do small things for your friends.

Send a quick text to say that you are thinking of them. Bake or buy a batch of cookies and drop them off even if you only have a few minutes to stay and talk. Stop by the store after work and pick up a greeting card to put in the mail. These sorts of little gestures can ensure that your friends feel cared for even when you don't have a lot of time to see them in person.

3. Keep up on social media.

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram can't replace face-to-face time together, but they can help you feel more connected in between your personal meet-ups with one another. Share funny memes or nostalgic photos on one another's walls. Take a bit of time to comment on what's going on in their lives and share a bit of your own. This can keep you up to date on one another even when schedules are far too packed for you to see one another as much as you would like.

4. Schedule a regular event.

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It seems counterintuitive: wouldn't it be harder to block out a lot of time than a little? However, relationship experts say that it's easier to fit in a regular event than it is to schedule a one-off. Whether it's a movie night at your house, a regular dinner at someone else's or a get together at the local pub, you can keep seeing each other more often if it's a regularly scheduled event.

5. Work out together.

If the idea of heading to the bar at the end of a very long day seems unappealing, time your morning alarm to go off a little earlier so you can meet up for a walk or workout together instead. This is a great way to energize yourselves before heading into the craziness of a busy day.

6. Plan a big getaway.

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At the point where you feel that you won't see your friends for months at a time while projects pile up? Carve out some time for a weekend away with the gang. Plan it a few months in advance so that you have plenty of time to anticipate it.

Good friends understand when we're too busy to put in the time that relationships should get. By doing these small things to maintain your closeness while you are busy, you can keep a friendship even while you are too busy to spend the time with your friends than you'd like.

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