Before the world fell apart, my friends and I loved to play this game where we would plan a girls’ night out which, after a few drinks, would time and time again turn into a girls’ night in. As much as I used to love hitting the town with my girl gang pre-COVID, the nights in were the ones that would allow us the true quality time to catch up, laugh at old memories, and look forward to the future. Staying in with my friends is my favorite way to recharge, and while I love vegging out and watching our favorite cringe-worthy reality TV shows, I equally love hanging out with purpose. If there’s one good thing about quarantine, it’s the opportunity to slow down, catch up, and touch base with those closest to you (those being asymptomatic/also quarantined/COVID negative, of course!). Here are six ways to switch up your favorite Netflix binge-a-thon with your besties to foster new conversations, more ways to connect, and extra opportunities to belly-laugh.
1. Channel your inner Food Network star
I consider girls’ night to be incomplete without some yummy, indulgent snacks, and while raiding the grocery store for Flaming Hot Cheetos, Sour Patch Kids, and/or cookie dough might be your first go-to move, opting for ingredients to pop in the oven can be just as magical. Whether you go the Betty Crocker route or start from scratch (I would do illegal things for this double chocolate zucchini bread), roasting your best friend’s ex pairs well with warm, gooey chocolate and is bound to bring your GNI to the next level.
2. Host a game night
I. love. game. night. You could always go the traditional route with an instant, competitive classic like Life, Sorry!, Scrabble, Monopoly, or Settlers of Catan or you could opt for a game that sparks side conversations and is a bit more open-ended like We’re Not Really Strangers, The Voting Game, Hot Seat, Cards Against Humanity, For The Girls, or What Do You Meme (my personal favorite). Another favorite of my friend group is to invest in a huge puzzle and attempt to finish it before the wine runs out. So far, wine 2, puzzle 0.
3. Get crafty
Very rarely do I take the time to get crafty, but I love a good excuse to pretend that I’m Martha Stewart. Have your girls pitch in for supplies for a DIY project that can range from home decor and homemade beauty products (like these make-at-home face masks) to chunky knit blankets. You’ll leave girls’ night with more than just a mild hangover, a hoarse voice, and new memories—you’ll have a take-home souvenir, too!
4. Turn your home into a spa
Allow me to set this lovely scene for you: you and your gal pals, robes on, feet up, listening to serene music while enjoying the aroma of eucalyptus and peppermint from a nearby oil diffuser. Group manis and pedis are encouraged, but not required, as that would require someone to lift a finger and whether you want to exert the energy is absolutely your prerogative. Reset, recharge, and let the time with your friends set your soul alright.
5. Make vision boards
It’s never too late to set intentions for your future and making it visual with your girls by your side can be a whole other experience. You’ll need some sort of canvas, glue, markers, scissors, magazines, and a printer to get started. Pop some champagne, let your hair down, and dream about the future together. If crafting isn’t your thing, try opening up with your friends and asking about their big dreams and life goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drama with friends, but looking forward and discussing the future will leave everyone inspired.
6. Write love letters to each other
We did a version of this in the office on Galentine’s Day and it was quite the treat. We used brown paper bags with everyone’s name on them, threw in little handwritten love notes, and received plenty of words of affirmation towards the end of the day that made us feel so loved and appreciated. It’s a great way to show your friends that you couldn’t do it without them and, if you’re an emotional queen like me, to have an excuse to get a little mushy.