Happy International Day of Friendship! Today, the 30th of July, is a day for people around the world to focus on friendship, reconciliation and cross-cultural understanding.
We think it’s the perfect time to get in touch with the people who mean the most to you, friends you haven’t seen in a while, or someone who’s having a tough time. After all, good friends not only play a huge role in your life but you’re also important for each other’s health and wellbeing.
You can find out what the UN has to say about why it has designated the 30th of July as International Day of Friendship here and read on for a few ideas for celebrating today with your friends!
1. Lock in a regular date and make it fun!
Life gets busy and staying in touch with friends is often one of the first things to fall off the agenda. Don’t let it! When you and your friends get together, it’s good for all of you. Talking to a friend about everything you’ve got going on can help reduce stress and make you feel supported. So, today on International Day of Friendship, take out your diary, schedule a regular date and keep it.
When you do something you love, with people you love, it’s good for your mental and physical health. Read more about this in our blogs on self-care from a GP and a mental health practitioner. So, make the most of your time together. Book in an activity you’ve been longing to do. Perhaps it’s time to learn te reo or take those surfing lessons you and your friends have been talking about. Or research festivals or sporting events and activities in your town. From rock climbing, to the International Film Festival… there are so many things you could do together!
2. Get the kids involved
Kids are great at letting you know when they appreciate you (impromptu handmade card, or flower from the garden anyone?). If you have kids, get them involved. Tell your children that today is a day for celebrating friends. See what they would like to do to make their friends feel special. You could even ask them for their thoughts on
3. Send a card, or even better… a letter!
And of course, there is the time-tested method of letter writing. Who doesn’t love the surprise of receiving handwritten mail? You could write a few lines letting your friend know why they’re important to you, why you value their friendship or the things about them that you admire most. It won’t arrive on the day, but that will make the surprise even bigger!
4. Let someone who’s having a rough time know you’re thinking of them
Social media means we often know what’s going on in old friends’ lives, even if we’ve otherwise lost touch. If you’ve got a friend whose social media posts indicate they are going through a difficult time, why not reach out? Ask if there’s anything you can do to help or if they’d like to catch up.
5. Contact a friend in another country
Most of us have at least one friend or family member who lives in another country. International Day of Friendship is the perfect time to let them know you’re thinking of