According to HRSA, “one in five [Americans] say they feel lonely or socially isolated.” These feelings can cause health-threatening side effects equivalent to “smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” So what is the solution to this terrible epidemic? The answer is simple: friendship! Fortunately, July 30 is set aside to celebrate the people who mean so much to us. Here are three activities to do on International Day of Friendship to celebrate!

Reach Out

It may seem simple, but reaching out via text, phone call, social media post, or written card can mean the world to someone who is feeling lonely. Let them know that you’re thinking of them. Add in some humor or an inside joke to make the message extra meaningful. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or sappy; just let them know that you care and that you’re there for them! If you’re not sure where to start, check Hallmark for some simple ideas for “friendship messages.”

Meet Up

What better way to celebrate International Day of Friendship than to get together with your besties? Plan a fun socially-distanced lunch date, a walk in the park, or a meetup at another spot that is significant to your friendship. Ask how they are doing and get the update on specific events or relationships that are important to them. Make an added effort to do lots of listening and make the conversation about them, and they’ll feel extra important to you on this day.

Make a New Friend

We couldn’t write an entire article on activities to do on International Day of Friendship without suggesting that you make a new friend! Reach out to someone at work whom you don’t know very well yet, talk to the server at your favorite restaurant, or gain a new pen pal at an assisted living facility. Good friends can develop out of very unlikely circumstances, so keep an open mind and find someone to lift up today!

Having friends in our lives is important! On July 30, celebrate International Day of Friendship by reaching out to friends, meeting up with friends, and making new friends. You will not only help others combat loneliness, but you will also benefit from these companionships as well! We’d love to be your friend too—connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!