Friends are the families we choose and they’re always around when you need them — whether it is to share a joke, a piece of gossip, or even to lighten our mood in stressful moments. One can always count on them, and at the same time be grateful for all the love you get from another human being. For good times and bad, you know you have a safety net of sorts to fall back on and feel loved and secure. It is definitely the biggest privilege to be that person for someone else too, whatever time of the day or night it is.
Winnie the Pooh, designated as the official Friendship Day disorder, symbolises more than just a happy, tubby bear who loves honey. The characters of Winne the Pooh were created by A.A.Milne 94 years ago in 1926. An American author, Benjamin Hoff wrote a book named The Tao of Pooh in 1982, intended to interpret philosophy for readers in the West using excerpts from books on Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh personifies the principles of ‘wu wei’, which stands for the Taoist concept of effortless doing, as well as ‘p’u’, meaning the concept of being open to things, yet being unburdened by experience. In contrast, the other characters like Owl and Rabbit over-complicate problems, often over-thinking and creating confusion. Eeyore, the lovable but deeply depressed donkey, has a pessimistic view on everything in life and often frets about existence, unable to just be — an important concept in mindfulness. But that’s not all, the characters also symbolise different mental health issues but as friends, they accept each other for who they are. As Christopher Robin said, “Friendship is a very comforting thing to have.”
Amid the pandemic, when the new normal has questioned nearly everything for us including the way we live in a minimal way or work, relationships too have been going through a questionable phase. Even if we’re unable to meet our friends at a time like this, or if we’re just separated by the distance (if you live in different cities or countries), always find time to reach out to the ones who keep your heart and soul happy.
Here are some of the ways you can celebrate Friendship Day, even if you’re far away from one another:
It always helps to have a gratitude journal. It’s proven to help you feel more centred and count your blessings than all the things that might be going awry for you in the present moment. Start your day by being thankful for the friends you have who make you feel so loved that you find yourself feeling fulfilled as you go about your life. It doesn’t matter if your group is large or consists of just 2-3 close people, they are the most important people in your life who will be there for you whenever you need them, as much you will be there for them. And that is a huge blessing bestowed upon us that we must be truly thankful for.
Share memories on your social media
Social media has made it a lot easier for us to stay in touch. There are various accounts to facilitate this, where you can share memories of days past, jokes, memes, educate one another and so much more! Besides, throwback pictures help you relive a moment that is sure to bring a smile on your faces, regardless of how long it might have been. It’s also said that if you’ve been friends with someone for over 7 years, then you stay friends for life, so all the more reason these memories be kept alive!
Take time out to cook over a video call with your friend, and then share a meal on opposite sides of the screen. Cook something simple or bake a tasty dish if you’re not much of a cooking enthusiast. Getting food delivered might be feasible, but it lacks the minutes or hours you spend sharing time, internet bandwidth and a meal regardless of how far away you are from one another.
Organise a watch party or play a game online
Watch parties have taken a whole new meaning amid the pandemic and the adjustment to the new normal. Plan a movie/TV show date and watch it together, then get back to your messaging app or a video call to discuss your thoughts on the content you just consumed online. Don’t forget the popcorn.
Not in the mood for a movie? Play an online game instead.
This will never go out of fashion, however, you choose to read — paperback or Kindle — or have a book read out to you (Ask Alexa or Google Assistant to read it or subscribe to an audiobook account). Start a virtual book club, discuss pointers, what your takeaways are and a lot more. Even if your friends’ choice of the genre doesn’t match yours, this is a good way to meet each other halfway.