They’re the women who are there for you with a shoulder to cry on; when you need an honest opinion about that dress; and for a giggle over a bottle of wine. Our female friendships are so important and now we’re finally able to see our friends again, it’s time to give these relationships some love!
Jennifer Aniston recently talked about the value of her female friendships, revealing that she invites her pals round to listen to talks about health and wellbeing. We love this idea of sharing emotional and intellectual wealth with your friends, so we’ve come up with some ideas of things to try with them. And, don’t forget, we all know how to video call by now, so even if you don’t live near each other, you can still try these things out!
Start a podcast group
If you already belong to a book group, why not consider starting a podcast group? Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be a podcast that appeals to you – find them on the podcasts app on your phone, your smart speaker, or online by googling the name of the podcast.
Ones to try include ‘How did we get here?’ with Claudia Winkleman and Professor Tanya Byron, which tackles family and relationship issues; fascinating real-life crime podcasts such as ‘Teacher’s Pet’; and ‘Postcards From Midlife’, which covers topics ranging from skincare and the menopause to coping with ageing parents. With such wide-ranging themes, you’ll find there’s plenty to talk about and analyse. Listen to an episode each week, jot down a few notes and then come together with a brew or a glass of wine to discuss.
Or, if you’re all a fan of the same TV show, why not get together to watch an episode each week? Whether it’s Killing Eve, the latest twists and turns in Spanish crime series Money Heist or women’s rights drama, Mrs America, watching together is more fun and you can dissect each episode as soon as it’s finished.
Get active together
One thing that lockdown’s taught us is that we don’t need an expensive gym membership to stay fit and healthy. With the realm of online resources available, you can have a workout in the comfort of your own home. But, as you’ll know if you’ve been exercising alone, it’s much better with friends! You can keep each other motivated and you’re less likely to skip a session, too.
Get together for a weekly yoga or Pilates class. There are lots of great instructors on YouTube – we like Yoga with Adriene and The Girl with the Pilates Mat, as they offer different sessions for all age groups and abilities. Have some iced cucumber water ready for after the cool down.
It’s important that you can move freely when you’re exercising, so you’ll need loose-fitting or stretchy athleisure wear that you feel comfortable in and will keep you cool even if you’re working up a sweat. Try this bright knot detail t-shirt paired with these funky leggings for a trendy throw-on look that will see you through your workout session and onto morning coffee and a chat.
Learn a new skill together
Whether it’s car repairs, watercolour painting or knitting, learning a new skill is much more fun when you do it together. Bounce a few ideas around to see if there’s anything you all fancy trying. From learning Spanish to playing the guitar, it’s possible to learn anything on YouTube. Or you could club together and pay a professional to come round to one of your houses and teach you. Do some online research to find reputable teachers or put a message on your local Facebook page or Nextdoor group.
You could even take it in turns to teach each other a skill. Most of us can do something well, so why not share that knowledge with your friends? Whether it’s how to make perfect pastry, getting to grips with Excel, tap dancing or upcycling furniture, teach your friends a new skill and learn lots more in return!
Host regular film nights
If you and your friends are movie buffs, why not organise a monthly film night? Take it in turns to host and suggest the film. Try and mix the film genres up and perhaps pick films you might not necessarily have thought of watching. Try a rom-com one month, the next a thriller and then perhaps a foreign language film, like the excellent Parasite, which won four Oscars this year. And go for a mix of new films, old classics and ones you’ve always meant to watch, but never got round to.
No film night would be complete without snacks, and a fun idea is to theme your snacks to the film. Think dolmades, hummus and olives for Mamma Mia, cupcakes for Bridesmaids or slices of pizza (and a very comfy sofa) for Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour mafia epic, The Irishman.
Don’t start your film too late, so you have time to discuss it once it’s finished. Hosts could have a couple of general starter questions prepared beforehand, for example, ‘what do you think the film was trying to achieve?’ ‘Did it succeed?’ Or simply ask everyone what they thought and go from there.
How do you nurture your female friendships? Let us know in the comments below!
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