Photo credit: nbcnews.com

Showing your friends how much you care about them is vital for building strong, lasting relationships. Simple and thoughtful gestures, however small they may be, can go a long way to showing your friends how much you appreciate them. It can make their day, and remind you both of how friends are by your side during the biggest moments in your life.

During times of hardship, friends are there for you, offering their advice and support for when you need a shoulder to cry on. No matter if you’re experiencing ups or downs, your friends are often the ones you turn to, for support, guidance or celebration.

The act of celebrating your friends should be embraced and acted upon, especially at the moment. With society practicing social distancing, those living on their own, in particular, are having to deal with stronger feelings of disconnect. These feelings of loneliness can be alleviated by acts of friendship, as this reminds them you’re there for them when you need them most. Expressing how much you love and appreciate your friends in alternative ways can build bonds of camaraderie and develop stronger ties of trust for years to come, and what better way to say this than with a gift?

If you’re looking for unique ways to show your friends how much you care for them on International Friendship Day, find 10 extra-thoughtful suggestions below.

Bottomless Brunch 

This month, lockdown has eased, meaning we can now revisit our favourite dining hotspots to enjoy one of the best meals of the week. However, if you’re worried about visiting restaurants and are looking to avoid big crowds of people, arranging a bottomless brunch from the comfort of your own garden could be worth exploring. To ensure your friend feels royally spoilt, buying in prosecco, cocktail ingredients and your favourite brunch bites means you can bring your favourite brunch features directly to your home. Your friend will especially appreciate all your hard graft and you won’t have to keep checking your watch either.

Drive in Shows

Drive in shows and concerts are not strictly a feature in American films, and are now becoming a sought after pastime in the UK. As the ongoing pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the live music industry, enterprising artists and venues around the country are being forced to think outside the box when it comes to playing for an audience. Everything from drive-in films, drive-in comedy shows and perhaps even gigs are set to be enjoyed from the comfort of our cars post-lockdown. Treat your friend to an evening watching Dirty Dancing, Terminator or La La Land and don’t forget to bring the popcorn!

Handmade Cards

Making your own personalised cards is so rewarding and with the wide variety of stationery and accessories available, you can be as creative as you like. During these times when celebrations have been kept to a smaller number of people, creating a unique and personalised card for your friend can say so much. Showing someone who might be a little down that you are thinking of them, could cheer them up, make them smile and really brighten their day. Your friend will appreciate the time and effort you took to make her something sentimental, unique and from scratch. It’s easy to buy something but much more rewarding to give your friend something handmade that required the thought and effort.

Make a Hamper

Making a hamper may initially sound like one of the more expensive options, however you don’t have to go overboard as it’s the thought that counts. If you’re friends going through a particularly stressful period in their life you could put a variety of spa themed music on a USB, so they can use this whilst at home or on the move. Add some tea lights and their favourite comfort food, too, to help them relax. You could even make them a natural face scrub, from coffee and ground cocoa if they’re particularly fond of their skincare regime. To keep costs down further, a simple friendship ornament and their favourite chocolate bar would be really well received accompanied by a personalised note.

Virtual Meal

If you’re in a food rut and would prefer to stay at home for a little while longer, you could plan a virtual meal with your friend instead. If you’re willing to expand your culinary palette you could create your friends favourite meal. Letting them know you’re doing this means you can enjoy their favourite dish together. However, if you would prefer to leave your culinary skills for another day, you could both opt for a takeaway, saving you both the washing up afterwards.

Photo Album

Usually by this time in the year we’d have accumulated more photos and lifelong memories made with our friends and family at events, celebrations and gatherings. However, as March to June was wiped out by the coronavirus, our usual interaction was limited. If you and your friend have been friends for years, you’re bound to have an abundance of photos that document all your adventures, laughs and best moments together. Putting these into a friendship photo album shows all of the great times you have shared as well as what you can look forward to. Once the album is finished you and your friends can flick through and reminisce whenever you like.

Bake them a Treat

Try your hand at replicating your friends favourite baked goods. You could whip up some biscuits from scratch, make an irresistible cake or even create something savoury such as bread, pastries or pie. Baking shows the extra effort you went through to create something that you can’t just buy in the shops. To go that extra mile, you could even drop your baked creation round when they are not in, texting them to check a safe location when they return where you have been able to successfully stow it away. The little gestures and elements of surprise go a long way and will really make your friend feel thought of.

Create voice notes 

A wildly underrated communication tool, voice memos allow you that creative freedom to tell your friend exactly how much you love them without the back and forth communications of a phone call. These long and rambling voice notes can be picked up and listened to when your friend really needs to hear your voice the most. Although regular phone calls are a great way to keep in touch, sending your friend an unexpected voice memo documenting how much you miss them can be the saviour of friendships, short and long distanced.

Arrange an Adventure

Nothing bonds people closer to one another than when they experience something new together. If you want to tell your friends you love them, arrange a day trip out together. You could take a road trip to the beach or explore a brand new walk together. Do not worry about going too far away from home either. There are plenty of opportunities to sightsee or try new things in your local area.

Pamper package

Pyjamas, slippers, dressing gowns, face and eye masks. We all love our down time and while some have returned back to work, many people are still adjusting to their ‘new normal’. To make sure your bestie makes the most of their down time, treat them to something that they can wear or use whilst relaxing at home. This way they’ll look forward to their evenings when they are winding down.

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