Be a friend
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” ~ Helen Keller
A friendship, like any relationship, requires tender care to grow and thrive. Luckily, the benefits of forming strong bonds with friends are worth the effort. Friendships can enrich our lives by providing us with much-needed companionship and support, and by giving us an opportunity to nurture and support others. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, friendships can improve our lives by boosting happiness, reducing stress, improving self-worth and helping us cope with the struggles that life can bring. Imagine trying to deal with a divorce, serious illness or the death of a loved one without friends there to give you comfort and support—and maybe even a casserole or batch of your favorite cookies!
Why not honor the friends that mean so much to you by doing something extra special during Friendship Week, celebrated during the third week in August each year!
- Call an old friend you haven’t chatted with in a while to catch up.
- Send a special card to a friend who has been particularly supportive this past year.
- Bake or buy your best friend their favorite cake and personally deliver it along with a box of tea for an instant tea party for two!
- Invite your closest friends over for a potluck dinner party.
- Buy that one-in-a-million confidant a drink—throw in dinner too, while you’re at it!
- Beautify a friend’s world by sending flowers.
- Gather up a group of friends and have a picnic lunch in the park, complete with croquet or kite flying, if you’re so inclined.
- Write a gratitude list of all the ways a close friend has helped you over the years. Send it to him/her so that they know how much you remember and appreciate all they’ve done.
- Think about a friend who may need extra support right now and do something special to let them know you care.
- Forgive a friend who has let you down and reach out in an attempt to mend the relationship.
- Ask for forgiveness if you feel you have let down a friend in need.
Friendship week doesn’t just have to be about old friends either! It’s a great time to branch out and add a few new ones to the fold. Consider joining a book club, taking an art course at your local community centre, or working out at a gym instead of in your own home. If you’re doing something you love with a group of like-minded people, there’s always a chance a new friend is waiting for you in the mix!
Keep your friendships strong by resolving conflicts as they arise, staying in touch regularly—even via phone or email if you can’t see each other face-to-face on a regular basis—and by always making time for your friends. Making plans for a weekly or monthly “date” with your buddies is a great way to make sure those friendships stay vibrant and healthy.
Good friends can help us navigate life’s ups and downs with their warmth, wisdom, humor and love. Make sure yours know how much they mean to you this August.
409965 CAN/US (04/15)