You've Got to Have Friends! 35 Ways for Busy Women to Stay Close

Get Physical

"I go to the gym with the same group of friends almost every day. Then, once a month, we show off our stamina and go out dancing." --ladyroberts

"Four of my buddies and I take an exercise class together. One of them drives 25 miles to work out, just to be with us. It’s a plan that’s good for our friendships -- and our health, too!" --cl-jilvin

Celebrate!

"I always mark my friend’s birthdays with a phone call, paper card or cyber card." --cl-taurus29

"I have a group of nine best girlfriends -- really. When a birthday comes up, it’s tough to find time and babysitters, plus presents get expensive. So we have ‘girls only’ birthday parties on weeknights. The birthday girl gets to choose where she wants to go, and we get to spend quality time together!" --Renee

Give No-Reason Gifts

"When my best friend or I see something in a store that we know the other will like, we get it! Then when we see each other, we have our own special gift-giving ‘holiday.’" --judy77

"I’m crafty, so I create books with quotes about friendship, journals with scanned pictures of us and lists of memories. I give these to my friends to make them feel good, and they are really fun to flip through down the road." --kfeller

Include Husbands -- and Kids!

"My girlfriends and I treat each other’s kids like family. Our whole group has a monthly nonalcoholic, kid-friendly ‘happy hour.’ I love being an ‘aunt’ at these events, since I don’t have my own kids yet." --Renee

"Every Mothers Day, for the past eight years, my friend and I have our husbands take us deep sea fishing." --cmjohnnie

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