After two years of throwing myself into my studies, I think I know more than most how difficult it can be to find time to keep in touch and have quality time with friends or family. So when giffgaff threw down the challenge to connect or reconnect with said family and friends by hosting a games night, I was in! I loved the idea; it really got me to thinking about simple ways to stay connected with friends which is a part of our mental wellbeing that we should be more aware of.
A Little Bit About giffgaff
Now, I had no qualms about collaborating with giffgaff for this blog post as I’ve actually been a customer of theirs for years and never understood why absolutely everyone else isn’t. As part of this collaboration they sent me over a box full of goodies to help me host the evening. The contents included:
- 3x board games
- 5x giffgaff preloaded SIM cards
- Action camera
- Anker USB plug charger
- Amazon Echo
- Food voucher
- Games night winner trophy
- Other giffgaff goodies (notebook, canvas bag etc)
Once I picked a date for the games night, I sent out a message on Whatsapp to my (very small) guest list. This was made all that much easier with the giffgaff SIM cards I was sent; I use their goody bag system on my current SIM which means for £10 a month I get 6gb of data (+1gb extra if I run out), unlimited texts and unlimited minutes.
Ways To Stay Connected With Friends
For me, this evening was a great way to celebrate the end of my studies as well as an early birthday celebration. So lets jump straight into the games night as well as some other ways you can connect with your friends and family.
Host A Games Night
To be honest, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself! I can remember hosting dinner parties and other small (non) celebrations in years gone by but never a games night. As well as the 3 games that giffgaff sent in the care package, I also suggested friends bring their own games they loved. The hit game of the night had to be Dobble – do you know it?!
My gosh, I did not think I was competitive but apparently bring out a board game and it’s everyone for themselves! haha! We cracked open some wine, some champagne, some snacks and then ordered a takeaway for delivery which actually was nigh on a disaster (needless to say it was the first and last time I use that delivery service or that restaurant!). The photos were few and far between as we were busy enjoying ourselves but I did make sure I got one of our winner with her trophy (see above).
I really enjoyed the evening and the friends that couldn’t make it have all requested that another night is hosted so maybe I should make it a quarterly thing?!
Make The Most of Social Media
So, I know social media gets a bad reputation but it can be a very good way to stay connected with friends and family. Apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook have all allowed me to reconnect with my family in the USA and Barbados at no cost when in years gone by it would cost astronomical amounts.
I guess the caveat with social media would be that if you’re gonna be on it, be active. Comment on peoples content, message people and ask how they’re doing and share too!
Plan ahead & schedule your catch up
This tip is similar to when you’re trying to fit exercise into your life. As with anything that is important to you, you will need to prioritise it. If you’re particularly busy, put a date in the diary for a FaceTime catch up, a coffee, dinner or a class.
Pick up the phone and call
Now, I’m not personally a fan of this one because I’ve just never loved talking on the phone! This is me….
“I called you”
Me: Yeah I know, I watched my phone ring.
But, if you have normal friends, lol, pick up the phone and give them a call. If you are my friend, drop me a text. On a serious note though, a phone-call doesn’t take much effort and can make the world of difference to your friend!
Plan a vacation to look forward to
Awww this one brings back some great memories for me. Lazy days in Ibiza, chilled out evenings in Cyprus, running mayhem in Amsterdam, mad nights in Miami… the list is endless. But a vacation, even short and sweet, can be a great way to get some down time and catch up with a friend. You can plan it soooo far in advance and then enjoy the countdown too!
Send a care package
If your friends don’t live nearby then this is the cutest idea to let them know you are thinking of them! Send some of their favourite bits that they might not be able to get their hands on where they are… those home comforts make the world of difference sometimes.
- Host a games night
- Make the most of social media
- Plan ahead & schedule your catch up
- Pick up the phone and call
- Plan a vacation to look forward to
- Send a care package
How do you stay connected with friends and family?