By Adeeba Begum

 (External Content - posted on behalf of author)

Life wouldn't be the same without friends. They're the people that can be counted on to be there at a moment's notice. The one's who love, laugh, support, and cherish in both good and bad times. Celebrating World Friendship Day is just one of the ways we can acknowledge our awesome sidekicks and show them how much we love them!

The original idea for World Friendship Day came from Hallmark cards in the 1930s. The idea of having a day to honour friendship was adopted by several countries in Asia and South America, where it remained a popular custom to reserve a day for celebrating friendships and the exchange of gifts between friends. In 2011, the UN declared July 30th as the International Day of Friendship to share the human spirit through friendship.

With the growing popularity of social media throughout the world, there has been an increase in celebrating the days that highlight the importance of friendships,online and through community activities which aim to bring those of different backgrounds together.

Of course, some think I don't need a special day to show my bestie how much I love them! Well, why not? It's the perfect excuse to get together, enjoy your favourite activities and appreciate them even more than we normally would.

Having good friendships, relationships and social connections also play an important part in looking after our well-being.

Having good friendships, relationships and social connections also play an important part in looking after our well-being. When the UK went into lockdown for almost three months, as social creatures, we all felt the loss of external human contact and it harmed our mood. So, it is more important than ever that we stay connected with our loved ones, which is possible now with lock-down measures being eased and social bubbles being introduced. There are many ways to do this, while bearing in mind that not everyone would feel comfortable stepping out just yet;

  • Make the most of video calling, whether that's with Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime or various other methods that are available
  • Check-in on friends and family at set times of the day. Starting your day chatting and listening to a friend or loved one can put you in a positive mood
  • Use technology to be creative. From virtual pop quizzes to live-streamed yoga, there are many ways to connect virtually
  • Set up a coffee and cake catch-up, or a dinner date
  • Play games such as video and board games online with your friends too

In this time of uncertainty and worry, lots of people are connecting with friends and family by sharing the small and simple pleasures of life. Sending each other uplifting photos and snaps of what you're getting up to at home, in addition to funny memes, jokes and videos, are just some ideas to maintain strong relationships without necessarily meeting as much during the pandemic. The bonds we form and maintain with friends and family will help us to overcome these difficult times with ease and positivity and a great sense of well-being.

Keep smiling and Happy World Friendship day.

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