Ever found yourself giddy from a great chat with a mom you’ve never met before? You were most certainly feeling a direct effect of the health benefits of a face-to-face social connection.
One study recently conducted in Australia found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%. Friendships have been found to ward off depression, boost self esteem, and provide support during stress. Family relationships, on the other hand, had almost no effect on longevity. Researchers who conducted the study emphasized that while family ties are important, they just seem to have little effect on survival.
What does all that mean? It means make friends and work on keeping them! Your social priorities should be on equal footing with other priorities in your life, as challenging as this is at times.
So what if you are a new mom? How can you make other new mom friends? What if you’ve moved and need to find new friends altogether? Parents magazine (April 2011) recently highlights some key strategies, including:
- Leverage existing acquaintances, from your real estate agent to friends of friends.
- Get off of Facebook and seek face time.
- Find local groups and clubs who share your interests. Don’t be afraid to go alone!
- Start with commonality, but seek out friends who offer something different.
- Make friendship time a regular part of your schedule.
So back to striking up a fun conversation on the playground or in the checkout line…what can you do to go after that new friend?
The “calling card” of yesteryear has a modern twist as a “playdate card” for busy moms. Caitlin McCready, designer of exciting birth announcements and invitations at LookLoveSend.com, came up with the idea one day when she met a new mom friend. They were unable to write information down, and neither really wanted to volunteer to enter the other’s contact information just yet.
McCready decided she could put her contact information onto a cute card and use it for such occasions. “It’s a lot less scary to hand someone a card and say, ‘Here’s my info. Email me if you want to set up a playdate sometime!’” says McCready.
Play date calling cards, available through www.etsy.com, convey an inviting, cheerful call for friendship without the pressure of a commitment. Handing a new acquaintance a playdate card keeps open the possibility that she can reconnect with you, as she chooses, at her convenience.
Given the evidence of the long-lasting health benefits of friendships, it is especially important for women as the key to staying healthy and living longer. Whether you are just starting out as a new mother, or whether you have moved to a new town, make the playdate calling card a central part of your new friends strategy.
To see other inspiring designs of LookLoveSend’s special occasion stationery, including birth announcements and party invitations, visit looklovesend.com. Subscribe today and receive 20% off your first order.