6 ways to mark International Day of Friendship this year

Friends are an integral component of the human experience, offering profound companionship, enduring support, and enrichment to your life.

Strong social connections are essential for most people’s wellbeing. Yet, as you reach adulthood, managing friendships can become difficult as work, family commitments, and other barriers get in the way.

Sadly, research from the Centre for Social Justice found that more than 40% of British adults say they feel lonely on a regular basis. And the Express reports that 9% of adults say they have no friends at all.

So, with International Day of Friendship coming up on 30 July, why not mark the occasion by reaching out to those closest to you and showing them just how much you love and appreciate them?

Read on to discover six ways to celebrate International Day of Friendship this year.

1. Get in touch with an old friend

Over time it is common to lose touch with people who were once among your closest friends.

Work, family, and life in general can pull you in different directions, and you may go years without talking to someone you once spoke to on a near-daily basis.

Although your circumstances may have changed and you are perhaps no longer as close as you once were, that doesn’t mean you don’t still value their friendship or that they don’t value yours, simply that life gets in the way sometimes.

So, why not call up that old friend or send them a message to remind them that, though you may be worlds apart, you still love and value their friendship?

2. Go on an adventure

Adventuring is part of the joy of life. It can turn a regular humdrum day into a journey with twists and turns and unexpected excitement around every corner.

And as with many things in life, exploring and adventuring is best when done with friends.

An adventure doesn’t have to be overly daring or dangerous. It could simply be going on a mini road trip with a friend and camping on the way, or stopping for a drink at a bar in a part of town you haven’t visited before. You could even go for a walk in some nearby countryside you have yet to visit.

To have an adventure you need to leave the familiar world behind and step into something or somewhere new that you want to explore.

Being with a buddy may give you the confidence to go that bit further, and in turn, see and experience that bit more.

3. Start a new hobby and meet like-minded people

If you want to meet new friends, International Day of Friendship is a great time to search for activities in your local area and find a new hobby you can do with other people with similar interests.

You may have had a passion you left behind long ago and want to pick up again. Maybe there is something you’ve always been interested in exploring but haven’t had the courage or the opportunity to do so. Or perhaps you just want to try something entirely new and see where it leads?

Your choice of hobbies could be many and varied.

You could join a theatre group, an art class, a walking club, a cooking course, dance, music, language learning, martial arts, or just about anything, provided it’s on offer in your local community.

And if it isn’t available, why not set up your own group?

Activities and clubs are a fantastic way for like-minded people to come together, explore their passions, and build new friendships.

4. Reach out to people who may need a friend

Unfortunately, as the research from the Centre for Social Justice found, millions of people in the UK regularly feel lonely.

So, there may be people within your community who would feel a lot better if they were to have regular engagement and interaction with friendly faces.

For example, you might know of an elderly person who lives on their own or doesn’t have any family nearby. Reaching out and checking in with them on a regular basis could mean a lot to them and make a big difference in their life.

There may also be a local volunteering service that helps to build relationships between people who are isolated and the wider community.

5. Do a teambuilding activity

Teambuilding activities aren’t limited to workplace Christmas parties, and they can also be a fantastic way to enjoy a day out with friends.

Going bowling, doing karaoke, figuring out an escape room, or having a go at paintballing are just some of the many activities you can do in large groups or with just a couple of friends.

You could even go a step further and explore some residential stays for group activity holidays. This could involve spending a weekend (or longer) doing activities such as rock climbing, rafting, caving, and more.

6. Show your appreciation for your friendships beyond your friends

Friendships come in many different forms and there might be people you know who aren’t strictly “friends” but who you have strong friendships with.

You may value one of your parents as a close friend, or a sibling, or any other relative. Perhaps your best friend is your partner. Or maybe you have a colleague at work who you have never socialised outside of the office with, but whose company you really value.

Friends are the people who make your days a bit brighter, that you can talk and open up to, and that you can rely on when you need them.

So, whatever your friendships look like and whoever your friends may be, celebrate and show your appreciation for them on International Day of Friendship, for they are the threads that weave the tapestry of your life, adding colour, warmth, and richness to your journey.