We know that being a mum takes up a lot of your time as you are always running around looking after everyone else. But did you know that if you make time to hang out with your friends twice a week will improve your overall health and happiness.
A study conducted by Oxford University found that women who go out with their girlfriends often had better health and happiness than those who didn’t.
Mums need to go out with friends TWICE a week for better overall health
Robin Dunbar, a researcher on the study, noted that women who get together with four best friends twice a week where they “do things” is of utmost importance.
“Doing things” consists of drinking, gossiping, talking and basically overall girlie time. But you don’t have to be a night owl or a big drinker, quite the opposite. The importance lies in releasing endorphins while laughing or having a giggle and just generally enjoying time with friends.
Benefits of time with friends include a faster recovery time from illness, a stronger immune system, lower anxiety levels, as well as increased generosity levels.
What’s more, the study found that having a larger number of friends ensures you have a higher pain threshold and they will help you live longer.
“The figure of twice a week comes from our findings that this is the amount of time that you typically spend with your closest friends/family,” Dr. Robin Dunbar tells The Vancouver Sun.
“For both sexes (no surprise) having a large, well-integrated social network has a significant impact on both physical and emotional health.”
“People with larger and/or more integrated networks suffer less illness, recover quicker from surgery, are less likely to die — and even their children are less likely to die.”
However, researchers noted that only 2 out of 5 women have the time to actually go out with their girlfriends once a week, even less often if they have children to care for.
“Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain friendship connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT.
“We get busier, with more responsibilities. It makes us feel nurtured and validated to hang out with friends we can be totally ourselves [with], minus the outside pressures.”
Sounds like it’s time to make some plans with the girlfriends. For health reasons, obviously.
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