While quarantine may make it more difficult to spend time with friends these days, there's no doubting the importance of friendships in your day-to-day life. Did you know that there's even a national holiday that's designed to celebrate these special relationships? The first Sunday of every August is considered National Friendship Day This year it is August 2nd.
While this holiday originated as a marketing strategy for Hallmark Cards in the 1930s, it has since grown to be celebrated not only across the United States, but internationally as well. In fact, the United Nations has even designated its own International Friendship Day on July 30th
The Importance of Friendships for Mental Health
Think about some of your best memories; more than likely, at least a few of them were spent with your closest friends. But having healthy friendships aren't just fun— they are actually essential to your mental health. When you're going through difficult times in your life, a friend gives you a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to your troubles. And of course, friends can provide you with some much-needed advice when you're facing crossroads in your life.
Even during less stressful times, friendships can strengthen your mental health by giving you somebody to laugh with and spend time with. Friendships also help to increase your sense of belonging and boost your self-confidence, both of which are good for your mental health.
Ways to Celebrate National Friendship Day This Year
Looking to celebrate National Friendship Day with some of the special people in your life? Things might be a bit more challenging this year due to social distancing requirements throughout the United States. However, there are plenty of ways you can still spend some quality time with your closest friends.
If you're not able to meet in-person, consider scheduling a video chat session with a few of your closest friends. Platforms like Zoom and even Facebook Messenger make it easy to video chat in real-time using a Wi-Fi connection. This can be a great opportunity to catch up, share a few laughs, and possibly even enjoy a few drinks together while social distancing.
Small in-person gatherings (with proper social distancing and mask-wearing) can also be a great way to celebrate National Friendship Day this year. Going on a walk through a nearby park or even grabbing carry-out at your favorite local spot, can make for a fun afternoon with some of your favorite people!
Looking to Make Some New Friends?
You can also celebrate National Friendship Day by cultivating some new friendships! While social distancing may make it more difficult to meet new people face-to-face, you can always find like-minded people on social media platforms. In fact, using the internet can be a great way to find people who share similar hobbies as you—and that can certainly blossom into a new and genuine friendship that you'll be celebrating together for many years to come!