Life gets complicated. We get caught up in careers, family, and the thousand little redundancies that pop up and keep us busier than we’d like to be. It’s easy to lose touch with that roommate from college who was the maid of honor at your wedding, or that lovely gal that was your neighbor some years ago who made you laugh so hard you literally fell off your chair.
But friendship is even more important than you think. A recent study showed that it’s our friendships that determine if we live longer, not so much family. We need those connections to remain physically and mentally healthy. We tend to sacrifice these friendships in a selfless gesture to allow more time for family and community responsibilities, but we end up harming ourselves in the end. To be happier and to stay on Planet Earth a little longer, we need to nurture our special relationships instead of allowing ourselves to drift apart.
So you’re going to have to make an effort.
Once, one of my dearest friends brought me an orchid in a cobalt blue pot. It meant the world to me and I fight like crazy to keep that thing alive. Just looking at it cheers my day. Small things like that can stay with us forever.
Here are some kindnesses you can do for your best friend.
Give Your Time
First of all, you’ve got to allow yourself the time to keep these relationships going. Make a phone call now and then, send them a picture of something that will make them laugh, and actually do stuff together.
Here’s a fun idea. Send your friend a backpack or some hiking shoes from Jack Wolfskin with an invite to go camping or for a hike. When you commit with a gift, your friend will know it isn’t a throwaway “we should get together sometime.”
If hiking isn’t your thing, figure out what is and send the appropriate item. They’ll love it.
Pick Out a Unique Gift
Riish is a company that caters to modest fashion, and they have some distinct pieces that are far from the generic product lines you find over and over again at shopping centers. Their scarves are particularly lovely, and they also have some pretty and affordable jewelry. If your budget can go higher, I fell in love with some embroidered leather shoes from Pakistan that are out of my league, but that some best friend out there would probably love!
Another source for unique gifts is Novica, which carries items from all over the world.
Send Something That is a Memento of Your Friendship
You don’t have to spend a fortune to show you cherish your relationship. These customizable best friend mugs, for instance, are a great way to show you care. You can pick out one of their designs, or craft your own. I particularly like the idea of putting a quote on a mug that’s an inside joke between just the two of you. One of a kind items like this can be a lot of fun.
What else can you find or create? Think about how you can turn memories into mementos. A T-shirt from your favorite hangout. An action figure of her teenage celebrity crush. I’m sure you have a lot of memories to draw from. You’ve got this!
However you decide to connect with your best friend, you’ll be glad you did. Really listen to each other, laugh together, and share your lives. That’s the best gift each of you can give.