By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
International Friendship Day was inaugurated in 2011 by the UN General assembly in order to celebrate the friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals. Since then, it has been enthusiastically embraced as a way to celebrate friendship. This year, however, we find ourselves in an environment that is going to make celebrating International Friendship Day more challenging. In this article, we provide further suggestions as to how you can celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30th through virtual connection.
Do not allow the pandemic environment to force you to lose connection with those that you care about. Make a special effort on International Friendship Day to reach out to those that you haven’t yet contacted over the last few challenging months. Send them a message, being sure to make it upbeat and positive. Inquire about how they have been coping during the pandemic and tell them that you’d loved to keep in touch more regularly.
Of course, you should stay connected with your friends during social distancing every day, not just on International Friendship Day. Doing so will show that you are a true friend. It will help both of you to overcome the problem of isolation, stay positive, and meet the potential emotional challenges that come with the new normal. You’ll also be able to keep tabs on whether your friend needs any practical help.
International Friendship Day is the ideal time to organize a virtual viewing of a classic feel good movie with your friends. Netflix has a provision that allows you to host a group chat as you watch a movie together. Even though you may not be sitting on the same couch, you can still enjoy binging your favorite old flicks or new series in virtual company.
Send a text out to your friend group and tell them to tune in that Thursday evening for a special movie night. You could even get them to vote on their favorite feel good friendship movie. Here are half a dozen perennial favorites you might like to include:
During this time of social distancing, communication is very important. It may seem extremely archaic, but speaking to a person directly over the phone can be far more intimate than playing ping-pong with text messages. Hearing your friend’s voice, their laugh, and intonation is far more rewarding than simply reading text messages on a screen. You can also have a video call with your friends using a variety of platforms. If you choose to do so, you might take the opportunity to share photographs of times you’ve spent together in the past in order to help you reminisce on what your friendship means to both of you.
An even more traditional form of communication is the handwritten letter. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter from a friend or loved one? When you did, I’m sure you treasured it and probably still have it today. Imagine the thrill your friends will get when they receive a letter in the mail from you on International Friendship Day. You could include a card with a funny or inspiring message. Be sure, however, to express in your own words and from your own pen how much your friendship with that person means to you. You will want to check what’s happening with the postal service in your area so that the letter arrives on or before Thursday, July 30th.
The mall may be closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t send a gift to your special friends for International Friendship Day. There are many opportunities to find that special something online.
The best online shopping sites will gift wrap the present, include a special message from you, and ensure delivery on International Friendship Day. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just find something meaningful that will express how much you care about your relationship with that person. You may choose to send them a bunch of flowers, a cute ornament, or something more immediately practical such as a Netflix subscription.
Why not organize a virtual Thursday night quiz party? You can use Zoom, Facebook, or Skype as your platform. Choose a theme for the quiz night, making it as fun and engaging as possible. If your group of friends enjoys classic music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, you could create a whole lot of questions around those great songs. Then, every time someone wins a round, they get to stream one of their favorite songs from that era. The loser of a round has to perform that same song. Here’s a sample question to get your juices flowing:
In the classic 1972 Dr. Hook hit “Sylvia’s Mother,” what was the cost of a three minute phone call?
(Answer: forty cents)
If the idea of a quiz night is a little too cerebral for Thursday night, simply invite a group of friends to spend a couple of hours together online listening to your favorite friendship themed songs. You can each kick back with a glass of wine and let the music carry you away. You could invite each person to share their top five friendship related songs ahead of time and create a playlist, or simply play it by ear on the night.
Here are half a dozen of my favorite friendship related songs:
International Friendship Day 2020 is going to be the most challenging yet. However, thanks to the marvel of technology, we are all able, with a little bit of creative thinking, to use this special occasion to share with those we love how much they mean to us. We hope that the suggestions offered in this article will inspire you to express your appreciation to your friends on Thursday, July 30th.