In 1935, Congress passed National Best Friends Day as a way to draw attention to significant relationships, and since then every year on June 8th in the US and Canada people gather to celebrate the ones we love the most! A recent study showed that life expectancy increases by up to 22% when individuals can identify a best friend

As a woman, I am really into supporting friendships. An article I wrote at the end of last year highlights the benefits of friendships. As great as it can be to have a partner who supports you and cheers you on, nothing feels quite as good as a meaningful, platonic relationship with someone who can see into your brain!

Regardless of where you or your best friend is at, or if your best friend has legs, paws, or feathers, there are many meaningful ways to share your love and gratitude with them. Below is a list of my 5 favorite ways to celebrate this year.

Plan a trip

national best friends day girls trip

Every year in June I go on a girl’s trip with some of my favorite women. We all live in different states and in different time zones, and often only see each other this one time altogether.

We spend the entire weekend pouring into each other, laughing about the best dating stories, and eating really good food. So many of my favorite memories have come from these long weekends, and I have quite a few cool tye-dye shirts as mementos as well! 

These trips don’t have to be expensive or even far. Have your favorite friends come to your house and do an old-fashioned sleepover for the night! Check into a local hotel! Visit the next city down! The important thing is the togetherness, not the location.

Write a letter

national best friends day write a letter

If you were to look into my glovebox right now, you would see a handwritten letter my best friend wrote to me in a period of great change in my life. She was heavily pregnant and busy in her own life at the time, and it felt extra special that despite that she was still able to think of me.

Writing letters, although more delayed than a text message, can be hugely beneficial when it comes to celebrating. Four Seasons Health Care mentions that writing and receiving letters is great for mental well-being and can decrease overall symptoms of anxiety. It can also improve memory and communication skills to keep your mind sharp!

Call and catch up

national best friends day

Has it been a few days, or maybe even longer, since you had a good chat with your best friend? Although a quick text can be nice, sometimes it’s nice to have a deeper kind of communication. Calling your best friend to catch up shows them that you are thinking of them and are carving time out of your day to see what is going on.

Uninterrupted time is so hard to come by as an adult, and sharing that with someone is a kind, and affordable, way to show them we care. Take this opportunity to process something stressful going on in their life and encourage celebrating of any milestones that have passed since the last time you got to chat! Bonus—if your friend doesn’t answer, leave a funny voicemail that they can listen to later when they need to hear a friendly voice!

Have a cuddle puddle

This is one of my favorites as it includes more than just human best friends. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I love my dogs 100% more than any person I know! Burnout by Emily Nagoski mentions physical touch as one of the best ways to complete your stress cycle and move away from anxiety, and that does not have to be with a partner!

Grab your best friend, or best pup, and have a nice long hug or sit together on the couch for a movie and just exist with each other. A good best friend won’t have to talk with you, or literally can’t in my dogs case, but can just be there with you to share the moment. 

Post a picture

national best friends day

In a pinch for time but still want your best friend to feel the love? Post a quick picture with a lovely caption! It costs you nothing but a few seconds and is a public declaration to others of how much you appreciate your bestie! This again can include pets or partners but doesn’t have to! Just make sure they look as good as you do and you’ll be good to go.

Celebrating is more important than ever as telehealth and lockdown makes it harder to connect with those we need most. What are you doing to celebrate your best friend this year?