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By Emma Attenborough-Sergeant Wellness Expert at GoVida - The Employee Wellbeing Platform

July 30th marks International Day of Friendship, and while that might sound a tad on the woolly side to some, the observance is designed to confront the challenges and divisions of our world through the power of friendship, kinsmanship, and camaraderie.

Our peace, security and social harmony largely depend on the strength and health of the relationships in our lives. International Day of Friendship then gains perhaps even greater significance given the isolation many of us faced during the pandemic – cut off from the friends, family and colleagues who add so much fun and feeling to our lives.

The lasting effects of lockdown – namely, a notable rise in hybrid and remote working – has also played a part in reminding us just how valuable our relationships are. While flexible working styles have their (many) benefits, most of us do miss sitting side-by-side with our workplace bestie, and catching up over a morning coffee as we ready ourselves for the day ahead.

So, how can we celebrate International Day of Friendship with our BFFs, both in and out of work?

Fun Ideas for Celebrating International Day of Friendship

The principle governing International Day of Friendship is that strong bonds between people, countries and cultures can help to promote peace efforts, and build bridges between different communities. It’s a time to celebrate diversity, practice inclusivity, and have fun with those around us.

If you’re stuck for ideas on how to get involved, try some of these out for size:

  • Speed ‘date’ different colleagues: We’re not talking romantic dating here; instead, get to know people you wouldn’t normally work with by organising a virtual 3-minute speed date session, where you and your colleagues can talk about anything other than work. Create set questions for everyone, or freestyle it! Either way, you’ll likely forge some new connections.
  • Expand your circle: As we get older we often stick with the same group of friends, because there are simply fewer chances to meet new people. But getting involved with your local community can be a fantastic way to grow your network. Find out what events are happening near you – including cultural celebrations – and do your best to get involved.
  • Host a dinner party: Why not gather friends, family, colleagues or neighbours (or mix the lot!) and throw an informal dinner party? If you don’t want the hassle of cooking, you could make it a cheese and wine night – and ask everyone to bring a different cheese, and a different bottle. Mixing friendship groups can be incredibly fun and rewarding!
  • Handwrite a letter: Some people choose to send cards to the people they care about on International Day of Friendship, but writing a letter demonstrates a great deal of thought and attention. You could note down all of the things you appreciate about your friend, recap some of your favourite memories, and pop it in the post to brighten their day.
  • Offer your support: One of the defining characteristics of friendship is our willingness to support others. This International Day of Friendship, why not ask the people around you how you can best support them – whether it’s promoting their business via social media, or giving them some valuable advice in an area you’re knowledgeable about.
  • Make it social: Many of us live our lives on social media, so it can be incredibly meaningful to celebrate your friends on facebook, or co-workers on LinkedIn! Share what they mean to you, how they make your life better, and why they deserve a big shout out.
  • Send a thoughtful gift: Money is tight for everyone right now; luckily, the best gifts are often handmade. You could bake a cake for your colleagues, create a craft project for your friends, or drop off your favourite homecooked meal to your neighbours. You might even receive something thoughtful in return.

The Future of Friendship

The past few years have helped us all to realise that the little things in life really do mean the most. Being able to hug our family, celebrate with our friends, or meet in person with our team mates is truly invaluable.

Life is busy, and we can’t always see the people we care about as often as we’d like, but International Day of Friendship is the perfect opportunity to show what your friends mean to you – because the relationships in our lives are incredibly worthy of investment.

If you would like to have more relationships, stronger relationships, or healthier relationships in your life, there are always steps you can take to help make that a reality – whether that’s getting involved with different groups and communities, carving out a bit more time to check in with people, or setting healthy boundaries for your friendships.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate this International Day of Friendship, have fun! And give your friends a hug from us.

To discover how GoVida’s employee wellbeing platform can help to increase camaraderie with your colleagues through our fun team challenges, get in touch to arrange a free demo.

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