A 70-year study from Harvard has identified what separates the happiest fullest lives from the least successful and it can be summed up in one word: love.
Our relationships with other people matter, and they matter more than anything else in the world.
Loving strong relationships helps us live longer, and increases our happiness and our resilience.
Our relationships help us bounce back from setbacks faster, accomplish more, and feel a greater sense of purpose.
Research has proven that our relationships matter more than anything else.
Yet, especially for women, our relationships are usually the first to go with things get stressful…when we actually need them most.
Every year around this time, I reflect on the past year and spend time planning out the new one.
Last year, after reflecting on the previous year I’d had, I realized how isolated and lonely I’d felt. My husband was away a lot for work and I was at home a lot by myself with a baby.
It’s not like I don’t have friends, I’ve got tonnes of women I love to hang out with.
But in my struggle to balance everything (especially on my own), I had pushed away the very thing I needed most: my girlfriends.
Our girlfriends are the ones who get our stupid jokes, encourage our crazy dreams, and tell us honestly when we’ve messed up. They love us even when we’re ugly crying, and give us loving advice when we need it.
They are the ones who remind us that we are worthy, and we are deserving, and that we matter.
When you’ve found good girlfriends, even long distances and time don’t stand a chance of breaking that bond.
Last week on the night before New Year’s Eve, I had a dream that I was out for coffee with one of my oldest and dearest friends who I haven’t seen in almost 5 years since she moved to Paris.
I dreamed that it was summer, and we were sitting at a sidewalk table outside a coffee shop in shorts and tank tops. Our tanned legs sprawled out catch the sun as we leaned back in our chairs, heads back laughing about something silly in the sunshine.
Just like we had countless times before.
When we got up to leave, I was so happy and felt so filled up. Better than I have felt in a long time.
I gave her a huge hug and I can still vividly remember the feeling of hugging her like she was here.
When I woke up I almost cried I missed her so much.
So later that morning on New Year’s Eve, I FaceTimed her in Paris. She was making dinner and we laughed and cried and caught up like nothing had changed.
I was flooded with happiness and filled up.
This is the power of girlfriends.
I’ve seen my best friends go through all of life’s challenges. Big moves. New love. Lost love. Babies. Parenting. Empty Nesting. Retirement. Maternity leaves. Starting over again. Illness. Loss. Entrepreneurship. Marriage troubles. Kid troubles. Life.
You name it. This is life, and it has it all.
We can survive and thrive through anything when we have each other.
If you’re feeling stressed, isolated, lonely, or need a pick me up: call one of your besties. Make a plan to see them (even if it’s just virtually) and fill yourself up.
Then, tell me about it in the comments below.