Thank you for being a friend
Whether you have just one or two close friends, or a whole gang of buddies who feel like family, July 30 is a day to celebrate each and every one of those special people and the unique gifts they bring to your life. International Day of Friendship is an opportunity to pause and say thank you to your friends near and dear, and perhaps to reach out to those who may have slipped away over the years.
Everyone knows that there’s nothing like the feeling of spending time with a good friend, but in actual fact there are real psychological and physical benefits to making and maintaining close relationships. According to an article in Psychology Today by Lissa Rankin, M.D., people who have a close network of friends live longer, have healthier brains, survive breast cancer better, survive heart disease better and even get fewer colds.1
It makes celebrating friendships even more important when you consider the added bonus of potentially living a healthier life because of them! So we’ve compiled some simple suggestions for ways to show your gratitude and love to the people who have chosen to make you part of their lives.
- Do something new and exciting together. Adventures are bonding experiences, so gather one or two of your best pals and strengthen those connections even more. You could take a class together (maybe belly dancing, chocolate making, photography or a yoga class—check your local community centre for options), go on an exciting road trip, audition for a community theatre production, attend a play or concert, or even start a book club so you can spend more time together!
- Write a letter. The art of the handwritten note is a dying one. Revive it on July 30 by penning a letter to a friend to thank them for all the ways they bring joy, comfort and positivity to your life. If a friend has recently helped you through a difficult time, this is a very touching and meaningful way to say thank you.
- Eat, drink and be merry! Food and friends just go together, so plan a potluck dinner, afternoon tea, or beer and wings night with your best buds. For tips on hosting an afternoon tea, including links to delicious recipe ideas, visit Canadian Living.
- Bake someone happy. Nothing says, “I love you”, like homemade cookies fresh out of the oven. Bake a batch of your favorite cookies and deliver them to a special friend with a sweet tooth. If you have a few friends to whom you’d like to give cookies, check out Yummly for big batch recipes that will feed a crowd.
- Capture the moment. Have someone take a group shot of you with your closest circle of friends. These days it’s simple to share photographs online, but it would also be nice to have prints made for everyone in the group. Mail one out to each friend along with a little note explaining why you are happy to have them in your life.
- Be charitable. Encourage your friends to help you raise money or support a charity that you can all get behind. You could volunteer at your local Ronald McDonald House® together [ CANADA- https://www.rmhccanada.ca/, USA- http://www.rmhc.org/, UK- http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Ourworld/Ronald-McDonald-House-Charities.html], or create an event for a cause that’s important to all of you with the help of a Foresters Community Grant.
- Just be there. With the busy lives we lead today, sometimes just taking an hour out of your day to hang out with a good friend can mean the world.Choose a place with few distractions, turn your cell phones off and just connect.
As Elbert Hubbard once said, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” Make sure to show your friends just how much that love means to you on July 30, and all year long.
411250B CAN/US (04/15)