You don’t need us to tell you that you’re busy. From work to wedding planning to maintaining your marriage, there is always something on your to-do list, and it can really get in the way of seeing your friends. And while a best friend will be there for you, even if it’s been a while, letting “a while” turn into weeks (or even months!) isn’t just bad for your friendship—it’s bad for your sanity! We can’t imagine life without our BFFs, so we’ve rounded up seven ways to help you maintain and prioritize those friendships, even with so much on your plate.
1. Put It on Your Calendar
The best way to make sure you have time to see your friends? Pencil them in! Even if it means planning dinner two or three weeks in advance, find a time when you’re all free, make a dinner reservation (or choose a spot for coffee), and block out a couple of hours. If it’s on your schedule, complete with a reminder, you’ll be able to arrange those vendor meetings or kids’ birthday parties around your designated girl time. And don’t do it just once! Block off a recurring time, like the second Tuesday of every month, so you’ve got something to look forward to and know you’ll see one another soon, even if you spend the in-between weeks playing phone tag.
2. Get Creative With Communication
While talking in person is best, sometimes that’s just not possible, so be open to other options. Whether it’s texting, a late-night phone call, or even sending one another funny animal photos on Instagram, know that those little messages totally count toward your friendship chats. Of course, big or hard topics need more than a Facebook "like," so save the heavy stuff for when you can both get on the phone or meet up for some actual face time.
3. Memorize Her Schedule
Are you the phone-call types? Do you have a crazy job that doesn’t really allow for you to text during the day? Take a minute to write down your daily schedule for your bestie, and have her do the same. Then commit it to memory! If she knows when you’re free—and vice versa—you might actually be able to pick up the phone the next time she calls, and you won’t have to worry if your texts interrupt her kids’ bedtime or a big weekly meeting.
4. Include Her in Your To-Do List
You’ve got a lot to do, and so does your BFF, so why not knock some of it out together? If you’re working on your wedding, invite her over to help stuff envelopes or bring her along for a dress fitting. If you both really need dish soap and paper towels, grab a cart and hit the aisles of Target or the local supermarket together and use that time to chat.
Food, wine, and your significant others—what’s not to love? If you and your SO have a standing date night, invite your BFF and her partner to join you. Sure, you won’t get the "girl talk" time you might need, but getting to see her in person will more than make up for it.
6. Plan Something Big
A cocktail or coffee every few weeks is great, but if you can clear a few days for a BFF getaway, do it! Take a weekend trip into the city, head out of town to the spa, or work on your tans at a beach resort that puts your spring-break getaway to shame. Just think: You’ll have all day (and all night!) to talk without interruptions and will get a break from your crazy schedule. As you get married and have kids, these trips can evolve into joint family vacations—or you can keep them as your moms-only escape.
7. Tell Her You’re Thinking of Her
Even if you can’t connect, fill the void by simply letting your friend know she’s on your mind. A quick text or email is easy to send on the tail end of your lunch break and is guaranteed to make your BFF smile.