It’s borderline sacrilegious to embark on a night out with friends without a little pre-party.
The pregame ritual is all about wrangling the company of good people and savoring the first sips, conversations, and laughs of a night out together. It may seem pretty simple on the surface, but the pregame is so much more than a good time.
Research tells us that gathering with friends isn’t just a good pregame for a night out, it’s a good pregame for life. Surrounding ourselves with friends we know and trust helps us alleviate stress and build support systems that better our ability to be resilient in the face of everyday stresses and obstacles. Social support and friendships help us engage with, learn, and rebound from the crap life throws at us.
So what’s the recipe for a perfect pre-game with or without a drink in hand? It all comes down to relationships.
Know your Radiators
We can divide people we know into one of two categories: radiators and drains. Radiators are the people who inspire and challenge you. From them, you get energy, advice and support. Drains are psychic vampires who constantly take from you, leaving you empty and wiped out. Whether you’re pregaming for a night out or a potentially stressful week of work ahead, decide who are your VIRs – very important radiators – and make sure they’re by your side. Minimize your contact with drains or, at the very least, don’t put much stock in what they have to say.
Make it a Weekly Ritual
Gathering with friends has been shown to have a significant impact on psychological health and well-being. The more regularly we do it, the more we reap the benefits. As Kari Henley points out in her blog on stress relief and friends, “Spending time with friends is cheap. It feels good, and it improves your health.” It’s just that simple. Whether it’s in person or on FaceTime, over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, making your pregame a weekly ritual will contribute to your emotional well-being. Good friends provide emotional support, tactical support, and wisdom.
Pregame on the Go
It’s actually very therapeutic to walk and talk. Psychologists and therapists are now taking clients outside for their 50 minute sessions. Studies have shown that the act of walking outside quiets the little professor or mathematician who resides in our left brain, leaving space for us to be more creative and relaxed. So get your weekly dose of pregame on the go. Grab a friend or friends, get outside and make it a point to consider one of life’s big or small questions. Or maybe just enjoy being with one another.
Pregaming, particularly when it doesn’t include alcohol can be really beneficial to your health and well-being so why not grab a friend and create a gathering.