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International Friendship Day

Thu 24 Jun 2021

International Day of Friendship is a day to appreciate and promote friendships from all backgrounds.  It is celebrated across the globe on July 30, 2021, the day promotes the idea that friendships between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace and build bridges between those communities.

It was introduced in 2011 as a UN initiative to reject poverty, violence and human rights abuse and to promote peace, security and social harmony.  For more details click here.

Friendship requires empathy, compassion and concern for other people. By valuing and celebrating friendship, we develop these characteristics ourselves and adopt a more selfless and grateful outlook on life. 

Why are friendships important

Evidence suggest there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. One of which is to connect with others.

Connecting with the people around you, your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours are key to your overall wellbeing. These relationships will support and enrich you.

This has been particularly important and challenging during the pandemic. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth, give you an opportunity to share positive experiences and provide emotional support and allow you to support others.

For more details on the 5 steps to wellbeing click here.

During this time where many of us may feel isolated, it’s vital that we maintain strong friendships with people we feel close to.

There are many benefits of friendships - there is a distinct connection between wellbeing and friendship, in simple terms good friends are good for your health. They help you celebrate the successes in your life, as well as providing a listening ear and support network when you experience lows or times of need.

Maintaining the significant relationships in our lives brings numerous health benefits, such as increasing our self-esteem and confidence, reducing our stress levels and boosting our sense of purpose and belonging.

As well as the wellbeing benefits that friendships bring, our friends help us become more well-rounded individuals. For example, through our relationships with others we learn about different cultures, beliefs and languages.

As our lives progress, many of us find it difficult to develop new friendships. This is often because of new priorities that require our focus and attention, such as work, childcare or carer responsibilities. In addition, your long-lasting friendships might become strained due to you relocating to a new community or simply because of changes in your lives and interests. The result of which can have negative effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

How to celebrate International Day of Friendship 

  • Find out about other cultures: The world is getting smaller and smaller. The population is growing yet we can all communicate with each other instantaneously. This is a great thing for the curious—we have access to the sum total of human knowledge at our fingertips, and can chat with people from different cultures as easily as we can chat to the person in the next room. Use the day to read about people whose lives are almost unimaginably different—and maybe reach out to a few, and see where it takes you. Think about what unites people instead of what separates us. 
  • Spend time with friends and family: In our busy lives, we often forget to pause and reach out to those who are closest to us. Take the time on the International. If you can’t see a friend, ring them up for a chat or reach out to someone who you’ve not spoken to for a while.
  • Use this day of Friendship to slow down a little, and catch up with the friends and family you maybe neglect a little with your busy schedule. Get together - either virtually or at a safe distance - switch off your phones, and revel in each other’s company. By making time to be social, you’ll strengthen the bonds that hold your friendships together, and make a positive difference to the lives of people who care about you.


Type of article: Articles
Category: Wellbeing

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