June 8th is National Best Friend Day, a holiday created to recognize just how important our closest friends are to our mutual happiness and wellbeing. Actually, there’s more than one day on the calendar for celebrating our friends. There is International Day of Friendship or Friendship Day (August 5th) and there is even an International Friendship Month (February).
Why so many days to celebrate our friends? No matter how you look at it, we are stronger together. From the little things to the monumental moments in life, we’re there for each other. We lift each other’s spirits, make tough decisions together, even water each other’s plants—and we are actually healthier when our relationships are strong.
So, take this opportunity to surprise your friends and let them know just how much they mean to you. Whether you’re celebrating a friendship day or looking for ideas to celebrate a friendship anniversary, here are some healthy ways to show them you care.
Celebrate Beautiful Friendship with a Self-Care Package
You can’t pour from an empty cup, right? That’s why self-care is so important! That goes for both you and your BFF. Give your bestie the best with a thoughtful self-care package. Create a spa in a bag with self-care essentials and include tips for making the most out of your gift.
If you’re feeling crafty, you can make cards with self-care ideas from our article Take Care of U: 6 Ways to Take Care of Yourself, including how to recharge mindfully and nourish your body and mind, plus tips for staying hydrated and practicing self-love.
And as for that care package, here are our picks to include:
Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Essential oils have practically endless uses. They’re great for supporting relaxation and stress relief, aiding mood and wellbeing, and they may even support immune and circulatory health.1,2,3 Each essential oil has unique properties and benefits to offer—from tea tree oil for skin health to geranium for balancing mind and body, and lavender or chamomile for relaxation.4 Head over to our Beginner’s Guide to Using Essential Oils for more ideas.
Encourage much-needed downtime by including bath salts. Try a Himalayan Crystal Bath Salt with therapeutic minerals from ancient seas, or pair Magnesium Chloride Flakes (Epsom salts) with essential oils for relaxing and refreshing body and mind. You could also make DIY Bath Bombs for an extra special touch!
What better way to feel pampered than with a face mask? Try a mineral clay mask to purify pores, hydrate and soothe skin with a rosewater mask, deep clean with an activated charcoal mask or make brightening turmeric face masks together!
Give the gift of thicker hair, stronger nails and healthier skin! Biotin, also known as vitamin B-7 or vitamin H, works wonders for our outer glow. Biotin helps skin cells get the nutrients they need and stimulates hair and nail growth.5
Trendy Sleep Essentials
Help nurture healthy sleep by gifting a sleep essential, like magnesium for promoting relaxation and calm the mind, or melatonin for better sleep. You could also include a soothing sleep aid tea like 100% certified organic chamomile tea. Check out the article Sleep Better with Trendworthy Sleep Essentials for more great ideas.
Plan a Day Out to Celebrate Friendship
Enjoy a day on the go with a hiking trip to reconnect with nature. Check out an online directory of hiking spots in your area to find the perfect day trip. You could even rent paddleboards or kayaks for an aquatic adventure, or stay on dry land and go for a scenic bike ride. If adventure sports aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy the great outdoors by taking an outdoor yoga class together or just going for a nice, long walk.
Being active is doubly rewarding when you share the experience, so think of fun new ways you and your fitness friend can get out and get your bodies moving. And while you’re at it, pack along some healthy snacks! Check out our Tips for a Healthy Picnic for ideas. You might also like the article Move More: How to Move More Each Day for tips on fitting more activity into your day, every day.
Send a Heartfelt Note to Celebrate Friendship Day
How often do you take time out of your day for the simple yet impactful act of telling someone you appreciate them? The world would be a better place if we all did that more often. You might think, “it’s just words,” but there is compelling scientific research behind the power of words, both positive and negative.6,7 And words can actually change your brain!7
According to Barbara Fredrickson, Ph. D., one of the founders of Positive Psychology, we need at least three positive thoughts and feelings to combat every expression of negativity.7 What does that mean for us? Many of us probably don’t have enough positivity in our days. Uplifting, positive words are motivating and help keep us resilient in the face of life’s challenges.8 They help shape our beliefs (even about ourselves), affect our behavior, inspire emotional responses and help shape our world.9
So, why not spread some happiness by using positive words to uplift your friends? Even better, get some nice stationery and write a handwritten note to make it more personal. Your handwriting is as unique as you are, and handwritten notes are rare to get these days. That alone will show your bestie that you wanted to take time to show them you care. It’ll be a keepsake your friend can discover again and again.
Make a Healthy Brunch for your Bestie
You may have plenty of brunch dates out with your buds, but have you ever made brunch for them? There’s something inherently special and hygge about being invited over for a meal. You could also take the meal to your friend by cooking at their place, and make cooking part of the fun! Just show up with all the ingredients in hand and chat it up while you prep and cook together.
Either way, making your bestie a healthy brunch and talking for hours (homemade mimosas optional) is a great way to show your appreciation and spend time together. You could keep it simple with game-changing avocado toast recipes, show off your baking skills and make a heavenly loaf of this strawberry poppy seed paleo bread, or whip up an insanely delicious and healthy breakfast bowl.
The point is getting quality time together. And as it turns out, cooking for someone else may benefit you in other ways too! Doing nice things for other people, like cooking, can make you feel happier and more connected, but the act of cooking itself may have some benefits, including promoting mental wellbeing through the mindfulness that naturally comes with the grounding qualities of savoring scents, flavors and textures while cooking.10
Hug Your Friends More
Are you generous with hugs? If not, maybe you should reconsider! There’s actual science behind why hugging makes us feel so good. Hugging releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which can reduce stress, decrease heart rate and may even lower blood pressure!11
So, if you do nothing else for your friends on National Best Friend day (or even if you do), give them a big hug and tell them they’re appreciated. Sometimes it really is the little things that make all the difference.
Why is Celebrating Friendship Important?
Aside from the obvious benefits of having a support system and someone you know you can trust, keeping our relationship healthy affects our physical and mental health in ways we might never imagine!
Studies have repeatedly linked healthy relationships to better physical and mental health, and unhealthy relationships make us more stressed, which can contribute to other issues like weaker immune health and increased blood pressure.12 An alarming study conducted over a period of 7.5 years found that people with healthy relationships had a 50% greater likelihood of survival regardless of any other health or demographic factors!12
Nurturing healthy relationships is good for everyone involved, and National Best Friends Day is a great reminder of that. But we encourage you to celebrate friendship and healthy relationships every day!
We really are Simply. Healthier. Together.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our Tips for Healthy Relationships, and make some time to unwind with Say Om: 6 Tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress.
Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for ice cream. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food.
Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.
1 What is Aromatherapy? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/aromatherapy-overview#1 (Accessed 02/2/2018)
2 Effect of aromatherapy massage on anxiety, depression, and physiologic parameters in older patients with the acute coronary syndrome: A randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Nursing Practice. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijn.12601/abstract (Accessed 06/06/2018)
3 Immunological and Psychological Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage. US National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142199/ (Accessed 2/2/2018)
4 Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. Kathi Keville, Mindy Green. https://books.google.com/books?id=G7wd8N_jNJcC (Accessed 2/2/2018)
5 Biotin: WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-313-biotin.aspx (Accessed 12/11/2017)
6 The Lasting Effect of Words on Feelings: Words May Facilitate Exposure Effects to Threatening Images. US National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4727455/ (Accessed 06/06/2018)
7 Words Can Change Your Brain. Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/blog/words-can-change-your-brain/ (Accessed 06/06/2018)
8 The Most Dangerous Word in the World. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/words-can-change-your-brain/201207/the-most-dangerous-word-in-the-world (Accessed 06/06/2018)
9 The Scary Power of Negative Words. Goop. https://goop.com/wellness/mindfulness/the-scary-power-of-negative-words/ (Accessed 06/06/2018)
10 Kitchen Therapy: Cooking Up Mental Well-Being. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/minding-the-body/201505/kitchen-therapy-cooking-mental-well-being (Accessed 06/06/2018)
11 More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15740822 (Accessed 12/28/2017)
12 Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-Analytic Review. PLOS Medical Journal. http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316 (Accessed 06/06/2018)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.