August 2 – National Friendship Day
To celebrate National Friendship Day, let’s remember how it was originated. Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1930, wanted people to celebrate their friendships in the same fashion as holiday celebrations and designated August 2 as the day we observe our friends.
Friendships enable us to expand our view of the world. And through these friendships we broaden our experiences and the world becomes a little smaller. Friendships also bring meaning in our lives as peers become an increasingly significant source of social activities and support. Studies reveal that close friendships in teenage years can improve our self-confidence, help reduce stress and anxiety and lower the rate of depression later in life.
How Friendships Affect Adolescent Mental Health
Positive social connections with people at any age play an important role in life to help ensure healthy development, physically, socially, and emotionally. Friendships during adolescence provide children with an opportunity to transition from dependence on parents and siblings to independence by learning to develop their own identity and contend with self-esteem. Positive friendships with peers provide youth with companionship, support, and a sense of belonging, which can be especially important during times of difficulty or change. They can encourage and strengthen healthy behaviors, which can lay the foundation for successful adult relationships.
Friendships can reinforce what adolescents have learned at home and:
- Provide an opportunity for youth to develop social skills.
- Allow adolescents to practice intimacy outside the immediate family.
- Provide a source of support outside the family.
- Can support adolescents as they develop their own unique identity.
- Learn how to make, maintain, and end relationships, as needed.
- Can motivate students to engage in schoolwork and achieve academically as well as be involved in extracurricular activities.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFriendshipDay
Celebrate the friends you have and the new ones you have yet to meet!
- Get in contact with your friends for a chat or visit.
- Accept an invitation to meet new people. You might make life-long friendships you didn’t know could exist.
- Share a memory with old friends to spark a fun conversation.
- Tell your friends how much you appreciate them.
- Challenge your circle of friends to share an experience they think none of your other friends have had. You’ll discover new things about your friends and find out just how unique each of them is.
- Mail a card to your friend.
The Role of Positive Friendships in Youth Development. (2020) Retrieved from: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/healthy-relationships/healthy-friendships/index.html