“A friend is one of the nicest things to have, and one of the best things you can be” – Winnie the Pooh
Can a phone call with your best friend turn your whole day around? Do your friends make you laugh till your belly hurts? Friendship is an important social bond that gives us emotional support, love, and encouragement. Friendship is not just for humans; many animals have friends, sometimes from entirely different species. It’s easier than ever to keep up with old friends on social media, with texting, and phone calls, but we are often so busy, friendships can sometimes take the backseat to other relationships and responsibilities. Celebrate friendship, whether its a quick phone call, catch-up over coffee, or a full-fledged Galentine’s Day, reach out to your friends and thank them for just being them.
As a child, friends are the first people we bond with besides family members. We learn to develop our personalities, how to have conversations, and how to compromise. Growing up, our friends help shape who we become. As we get older, friendships become even more important. Having a strong social support system is great for physical health, reducing risks of depression, high blood pressure, and having a high Body Mass Index (BMI). Our friends can help reduce stress by boosting our happiness, self-confidence, and self-worth. Friendships help us through tough times, easing feelings of loneliness and providing support during rough patches.
Today it can be harder to make friends, we can have thousands of “followers” or “friends” online, but only a few close confidants. The modern household has become smaller, as family size has shrunk and kids leave the nest to go off to college and start their adult lives. Friends help you to laugh and not take life too seriously. Friends also give you honest opinions and a different perspective, which can be extremely helpful for problem solving and to help with personal issues. Friendships allow you to be vulnerable and express your worries, doubts, and celebrate your joys. Older adults with rich social lives even live longer. Celebrate friendship, it’s important!
Galentine’s Day (or just a friend-date) Activities
What is Galentine’s Day? Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec coined this term on an episode in 2010. She used February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, to celebrate the female friendships in her life. Leslie celebrated with her friends at pink-decorated, waffle-filled brunch. She gave each of her friends a 5,000-word personalized essay and a mosaic portrait. Galentine’s Day has caught on, with women all over the world celebrating each year.
Here are some other fun ideas to celebrate friendship:
- Mug Succulents (perfect for a sleepover)
What You’ll Need:
- Plain Mugs (white works best)
- Oil-based Sharpies or Paint Pens
- Rubbing Alcohol
Succulents are adorable plants that are girly, but low-maintenance. They’re small and can be planted in nearly anything. Turn a plain mug into a cute succulent planter with just a few easy steps.
Once you’ve cleaned your mug and removed any stickers, let it dry and then rub it with rubbing alcohol. Once the alcohol is dried, you can decorate with the Sharpies or paint pens however you’d like. You can use stencils to use patterns or monogrammed lettering, or go free-style and create a masterpiece. When you’re happy with the design, let it dry for 24 hours. Once they’re dried, place them upside down on a baking sheet and place in a cool oven. Always place mugs and glasses in a cool oven, not a preheated one. Let them bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off, but leave the mugs in until they are cool. It will take about an hour and a half for the oven to cool back down. After the mugs are cool, you can add your succulents and soil!
- Wine Fountain
Friendship celebrations call for wine! You and your friends can create a wine fountain. It’s easy to make and looks fabulous! You can turn old wine bottles into a beautiful fountain that elegantly pours “wine” into the glass. Dye can be added to the water for an even more realistic effect. Follow the step-by-step instructions here.
- DIY Matching Container Fountains
You can turn nearly any water-holding container into an easy and affordable container fountain. Get matching planters with your friends, so every time you walk out to your garden, porch, or office, you think of them! Follow the instructions here.
- Wine Glass Paint Party
What you’ll need:
- Wine Glasses (you can get them from the dollar store)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Gloss Enamel Craft Paint
Hand-painted wine glasses will remind you of your friends when you pour a glass of wine after a long day.
First you need to wash your glasses and dry them. Once they are dry, use rubbing alcohol to make sure there is no soap, dust, or dirt on the surface. After the alcohol has dried you can start painting! In order to keep the paint from chipping and to allow them to be dishwasher safe, the glasses will need to go in the oven, like the mugs did. Place them upside down, on a baking sheet. Always place mugs and glasses in a cool oven, not a preheated one. Set the oven to 350°F. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and let the glasses cool inside. Wait 72 hours to use the glasses.
Celebrate friendship and make time for those who give you support and make you happy! It can be hard to nurture friendships when we get busy. We know they’ll be there no matter what and sometimes take advantage of that. Clear you schedule and have a get together with your best friend or group of friends. Crafting lets you make memories, and take home mementos so you can remember all of the laughs and giggles. Friendship is important for your health and wellbeing, so celebrate!