Getting Back with the Girls: A Guide to Reuniting Post-Pandemic
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There is no denying the severe strain and stress that the pandemic put on our relationships last year. From not seeing family members during the most meaningful holidays to being forced to separate from friends and co-workers, our interpersonal connections undoubtedly took a major hit. For me, one of the hardest challenges was the distance between my closest girlfriends and myself. Not being able to catch up over a glass of wine at happy hour or let loose with a night out on the town was isolating, and I found myself craving that much-needed time of connection and comfort that only the best of company can provide. Thankfully, with life beginning to resume some semblance of normalcy, we are once again allowed to reunite post-pandemic with our girlfriends and make up for lost time during a chaotic and stressful year.
Who, What, When, and Where?
Reuniting with friends following such a bizarre and life-changing event such as the pandemic can be overwhelming. Trying to prioritize who you want to see first, planning what you should do and where you should do it - it can be a lot, and we are all getting back in the swing of socializing on a larger scale. While it may be tempting to overbook your schedule with dinner dates and boozy brunches, avoid spreading yourself too thin as you attempt to re-solidify your connections and friendships. After a year of isolation, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself with people and plans. Of course, if you are a social butterfly who never seems to tire of other people's company, then, by all means, have at it. Also, with everything reopening at once, it may be difficult to decide which activities and places you would most like to indulge in. Whether it is your favorite restaurant and bar, or your favorite museum or winery, start your girlfriend gatherings off with your most missed favorites so that you can reminisce while simultaneously picking right back up where you left off.
Connection and Conversation
Even if you were the queen of keeping in touch via phone or Zoom calls, there are sure to be topics of conversation that are more meaningful in-person upon reconnecting. It is important to remember that some of these topics might be a bit heavy or sensitive, and both parties will more than likely require a shoulder to cry on at one point or another.
Conversations around deaths, breakups, and financial hardships are just a few you might come across. The entire world experienced some of the greatest trials of our lifetime, and it is unlikely that either you or your girlfriends got off scot-free. While it may be easy to get caught up in the elation and excitement of the reopenings and reinstatement of certain freedoms, we can't forget that our most important friendships are often forged in connection rather than just fun. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest with your close girlfriends, letting them in on any struggles that you are comfortable enough sharing now that you can physically reunite and reconnect. They will be relieved to do the same.
Though this last year showed many of us just how independent and capable we are of standing on our own, it also showed a lot of us that life is much richer and more fulfilling with the company of others. Taking advantage of the opportunity to reunite with our girlfriends post-pandemic means having fun while being mindful that each of us has come out on the other side of this historical event with new strengths and new struggles.
Being able to be present for both is what makes our connections to our girlfriends so meaningful.